The first chapter of this book concerns the myth of "exceptional adventurers," which is the idea that several countries, including America, were discovered because of a few brave heroes venturing out into the great beyond. This idea, the author says, prevents any credit to the natives of so-called "discovered" countries for their own ideas and innovations. Explorers like Columbus were not unique heroes, but merely men who were employed by the Spanish government to seek out new conquests. This was a routine job given to many others, and certain ones became famous by the luck of the draw, such as Pizarro and Cortes. Their "routine conquests" became important to history later on, and attached to their names rather than to Spain as the employer who had sent them on their missions.
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