The Map that Gave America Its Name

Tuesday, January 05, 2010

In 2003, the Library of Congress paid $10 million for the only existing copy of the 1507 map that was the first to show the New World and call it America. Toby Lester tells the story of its creation in The Fourth Part of the World: The Race to the Ends of the Earth, and the Epic Story of the Map that Gave America Its Name.


Toby Lester

Comments [7]

Danny from manhattan

Re: the fourth part of the world,
Regardless of whether Atlantis existed or not, "The Lost Continent" spoken about in Timaeus is clearly the Americas, lost because it was at the time blocked from westwardly navigation by what was then the impassable Mid-Atlantic shallows. Read it it will blow your mind!

Jan. 05 2010 01:56 PM
Hugh Sansom from Brooklyn NY

When did mapmakers realize they had a problem with representing information from a 3D surface, a sphere, on a the 2D surface of a map?

Jan. 05 2010 01:55 PM
ada williams

How about Piri Reis and his America map? Hopefully your guest would merge eastern perspetive to his work in the future.

Jan. 05 2010 01:54 PM
Hugh Sansom from Brooklyn NY

How do the Norsemen or Vikings figure into all of this? We know they were present on the coast of North America long before the southern Europeans.

Jan. 05 2010 01:52 PM
GW from Manhatan

Sigh .. as a Native American I could only wish we had a Katrina force storm to blow them all back to Europe...

Jan. 05 2010 01:51 PM
ken from new york

Question.....In old maps the ocean is never blue....why is that?

Jan. 05 2010 01:44 PM
Hugh Sansom from Brooklyn NY

Is there a map, called the "Vineland Map" (?), now at Yale that may show the northeastern coast of North America? It's authenticity is hotly debated.

As for imagining the world. Ptolemy and others over 2000 years ago knew that the world was round and had a pretty good idea of its circumference, so a good number of people must have realized that Europe and the Mediterranean couldn't possibly encompass everything.

Jan. 05 2010 01:32 PM

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