The three volumes that will encompass North American Exploration appraise the full scope of the exploration of the North American continent and its oceanic margins from prior to the arrival of Columbus until the end of the nineteenth century. More than an assessment of historical events, these volumes portray the process of exploration. Without forgetting the romance of exploration, the authors recognize that exploration is a great deal more than the adventures themselves. All explorers are conditioned by the time, place, and circumstances of their efforts; these determine objectives, the behavior of explorers, and the consequences of their discoveries.
In this first volume we follow the expansion of knowledge from the world of the pre-Columbian explorers through the end of the sixteenth century, with each topic addressed by an expert, and all fitting into a coherent whole. The volume is enhanced by a discussion of the geographical knowledge and beliefs of the native peoples of the North American continent, and how this knowledge influenced the efforts and understanding of the Europeans.
John Logan Allen is a professor of geography at the University of Connecticut. He is the author of Passage through the Garden: Lewis and Clark and the Image of the American Northwest.