They Came Before Columbus

by Ivan Van Sertima.Random House. $15.00. The theory that Africans, Egyptian or otherwise, reached the Americas before Columbus has been argued for years, usually supported by enthusiasts claiming far too much on very little information. Professor Van Sertima is no such romantic. “What I have sought to prove,”he
explains, “is not that Africans ‘discovered’ America, but that they made contact on at least half a dozen occasions, two of which were culturally significant for Americans.” This is a reasonable ambition, and he has pursued it with good judgment and persuasive evidence drawn from a wide variety of sources. A fascinating case, worth the attention it demands. Notes, index, illustrations.