Columbus and the Taino People

The story of Columbus and the Taino people is fascinating, and is made even more fascinating by Kate Messner’s analysis of it in this episode. She explains who the Taino people were, how they discovered Columbus, and what happened during and after their encounter. Kate’s “History Smashers” series is a fantastic way to understand history and how history myths have been embedded in our culture. Episode 531.


Buzzkill Bookshelf

Kate Messner, Jose Barreiro, and Falynn Koch, History Smashers: Christopher Columbus and the Taino People

Myths! Lies! Secrets! Uncover the hidden truth about Christopher Columbus, and learn all about the Taino people. Perfect for fans of the I Survived books and Nathan Hale’s Hazardous Tales.

In 1492, Christopher Columbus sailed across the ocean and discovered America. Right? WRONG! Columbus never actually set foot in what is now the United States. His voyages took him to islands in the Caribbean and along the coast of South America.

The truth is, when Columbus first arrived, Indigenous peoples, including the Taino, had been living there for thousands of years, raising their families, running their societies, and trading with their neighbors. He didn’t “discover” the lands at all! And his name? Not even really Christopher Columbus! Cowritten by bestselling author Kate Messner and our country’s premier Taino scholar, this fascinating addition to the series is the one that teachers have been asking for and that kids need to read.

Discover the nonfiction series that demolishes everything you thought you knew about history. Don’t miss History Smashers: The Mayflower, Women’s Right to Vote, and Pearl Harbor.

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