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Lit2Go: Audio Files for 8th Graders

 "Christopher Columbus, Part 2"


Columbus: Fact vs. Fiction 

This Podcast was conducted by Bazooka Joe of the Small World Podcast. Please visit his site to find many many high quality inteviews on a variety of topics. Interview with Dr. Dona De Sanctis of the Order Sons of Italy in America about the Columbus: Fact vs. Fiction report which presents a series of documented facts on the life of Columbus, his explorations and their significance, as well as the history of Columbus Day in the United States. We discuss the controversial charges about the explorer that have been levied in recent years, accusing him of racism, genocide and slave trading; how Columbus was considered a hero for most of U.S. history; pictures, painting and postage stamps of Columbus; the reputation of Columbus which they say has suffered at the hands of special interest groups since 1992 to further their 21st century political and social agendas; the true accomplishments and mistakes of Columbus; who really discovered Amercia; John Cabot; Giovanni da Verrazano; Amerigo Vespucci; diseases and pestililence brought to the new world; cocaine and tobacco; charges of racism against Columbus; his belief in God; clashes with the Taino, Arawaks, Caribs and Canibs; slavery; cannibalism; judging 15th century morality by 21st century values; striving to live by our ideals. Featured song is "One Love One World" by Craymo.


James Reston, Jr. discusses his new book "Dogs of God: Columbus, the Inquisition, and the Defeat of the Moors" 

Veteran journalist and author Reston brings to life three key elements of Spanish history that intertwined in 1492. Columbus takes a back seat to the Inquisition and the defeat of Islamic Granada, but plays a key role in demonstrating their relationship to the rise of empire and the modern state. Reston (Warriors of God; Galileo) has done tremendous research, though the shadows of his mostly older sources tend to show in stereotypes of the treasure-hungry, Machiavellian Ferdinand and the handsome adventurer Columbus charming Isabella. While he reduces the order of Dominicans to their role as inquisitors, he generally does justice to the complexities of his subject, examining the worlds of Christians, Muslims and Jews with sympathy and irony, and incorporating portraits of several lesser-known figures. The Inquisition emerges from political as much as religious circumstances, and the clerics presented run the gamut from saints to careerists, rabble-rousing preachers and prophets. Parallel civil wars in Christian and Muslim Spain and images of mobs on both sides suggest the interplay of popular feeling, government policy and theological debate. Despite minor disappointments in the details, this is a highly entertaining, thoughtful and complex narrative that both introduces and analyzes a greatly misunderstood era.