In 1507, a German cartographer created a world map that, for the first time, included the continental landmasses in the Western Hemisphere, discovered within the 15 previous years. He inserted the name "America" on the southern continent, honoring Amerigo Vespucci, who had erroneously been credited with setting foot on South American soil before Christopher Columbus. With the aid of the newly invented printing press, the name "America" became the accepted designation of land in the New World.
In a colorful narrative that reads like a good mystery, Dr. Seymour I. Schwartz brings to life the amazing history of America’s "baptismal certificate." Since its creation the Waldseemüller World Map of 1507 has been surrounded by intrigues and controversies.
Schwartz’s compelling story, which includes many amazing twists and turns, also features cameo appearances by Alexander von Humboldt, Washington Irving, Frédéric Chopin, George Sand, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Ogden Nash, J. Pierpont Morgan, Paul Mellon, and German Chancellors Helmut Kohl and Gerhard Schröder.