Vasco da Gama
First European to Reach India by Sea
Portuguese explorer Vasco da Gama was a bold and brutal adventurer who was the first European to find an all-sea route to India. Along the way, he made contact with local people in South Africa, Mozambique, and the Indian kingdom of Calicut. Though revered in his time for helping Portugal become a powerful force on the world stage, da Gama is also remembered as a controversial figure for his forceful and cruel behavior in Africa and India. This warts-and-all biography identifies da Gama?s achievements while also offering an unsparing examination of the darker aspects of his life and legacy.