The Coldwell Banker Elite Lecture
Magellan was the first person to think globally, to see the world as we see it today. To research his life, I immersed myself in the rigors and suffering and beauty and drama of this, the most famous sea voyage in history. The result is a tale largely based on neglected original sources. Magellan's bold and remarkable feats of exploration gave us many scientific and geographic concepts that we continue to rely on. He and his men voyaged to the ends of the Earth, sailing over the edge of the known world, as they explored the limits of human endurance and the darkest recesses of the human soul. I personally visited and retraced the highlights of Magellan's route -- from the seething Atlantic Ocean off the coast of Sanlucar de Barrameda, Spain, through the Strait of Magellan, only five hundred miles above the Antarctic Circle, to his untimely death in the Philippines, and beyond.
Speaker: Laurence Bergreen
Laurence Bergreen, a graduate of Harvard University, is a prolific writer, whose most recent book is Casanova: The World of a Seductive Genius, published by Simon & Schuster in 2016. His previous book was Columbus: The Four Voyages, a New York Times bestseller, and a selection of the Book-of-the-Month Club, the History Book Club, and the Military Book Club.
In October 2007, Alfred A. Knopf published Marco Polo: From Venice to Xanadu, a groundbreaking biography of the iconic traveler.
His previous work, Over the Edge of the World: Magellan’s Terrifying Circumnavigation of the Globe, was published by William Morrow in October 2003. In 1997, Bantam Doubleday Dell published Louis Armstrong: An Extravagant Life, a comprehensive biography drawing on unpublished manuscripts and exclusive interviews with Armstrong colleagues and friends. It appeared on many “Best Books of 1997” lists, including those of the San Francisco Chronicle, the Philadelphia Inquirer, and Publishers Weekly.
In 1994, Simon & Schuster published his definitive Capone: The Man and the Era. His biography, As Thousands Cheer: The Life of Irving Berlin, appeared in 1990. His previous biography, James Agee: A Life, was critically acclaimed and was a New York Times “Notable Book” for 1984.
He has written for many national publications including The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, The Los Angeles Times, Esquire, Newsweek, The Chicago Tribune, and Military History Quarterly. He has taught at the New School for Social Research, Kenyon College and served as Assistant to the President of the Paley Center for Media in New York. He has served as a judge for the National Book Awards and the PEN/ Albrand Nonfiction Award.
A frequent lecturer at major universities and symposiums, and, on occasion, aboard cruise ships, he has served as a Featured Historian for the History Channel. He is a member of PEN American Center, The Explorers Club, the Authors Guild, and the Board of Trustees of the New York Society Library.