In Inventing America, José Rabasa presents the view that Columbus’s historic act was not a discovery, and still less an encounter. Rather, he considers it the beginning of a process of inventing a New World in the sixteenth century European consciousness. The notion of America as a European invention challenges the popular conception of the New World as a natural entity to be discovered or understood, however imperfectly. This book aims to debunk complacency with the historic, geographic, and cartographic rudiments underlying our present picture of the world.
Comment: This book contributes to the historiography of colonial Spanish America, and thus it is a good resource for students of this time period. It questions the epistemological grounds of the notion of the 'discovery' of the 'new' America. This text also contributes to the field of work concerning the designs placed on America by Europe, and shows that America was invented for a specific purpose, rather than being discovered.