I want to find information on the real Columbus, not the one we are taught about in grade school. Any suggestions?
Most modern historians no longer hold to the image of Columbus as a hero who overcame great odds to “discover” the New World. Instead, they paint a much more nuanced view of the man. They point out that he was persistent and brave in his efforts to fund his voyages and in the voyages himself. However, they also point out that he was trying to find a route to Asia and that he never admitted that he had not made it to Asia. They also point out that he was capable of great brutality. The link below presents a discussion of Columbus’s life that has all of these aspects.
If you want a truly critical view of Columbus, one in which Columbus is more vilified than revered; you should look to Howard Zinn’s A People’s History of the United States. This book portrays Columbus in a much harsher light.