The Conquest of Paradise:nChristopher Columbus and thenColumbian Legacynby Kirkpatrick SalenNew York: Knopf; 453 pp., $24.95nThe Rediscovery of North Americanby Barry LopeznLexington: The University Press ofnKentucky; Unpaginated, $15.00nIn Search of Columbus: ThenSources for the First Voyagenby David HenigenTucson: The University of ArizonanPress; 359 pp., $24.95nPerhaps because it is itself so completelynahistorical, the left has angreat need for history, which it proceedsnto squeeze with the fiendish rapacity itnwould attribute to the Tropicana fruitnjuice corporation. Of the three booksnunder review here, all purportedly of anhistorical nature, only one of them —nDavid Henige’s—: really is a work ofnhistory. And only one of them — Mr.nHenige’s again — appears to be thenproduct of an adult mind.nThe past three years, in particular,nhave not been kind to leftism and itsnperpetrators, and The Conquest of Paradise,nby the aging New Leftist KirkpatricknSale, is an indicahon of thendegree to which the left, having failednin its attempt at revolutionizing Westernncivilization by means of the economicnargument, is currently wieldingnthe ecological one to the same end.nChilton Williamson, Jr. is seniorneditor for books at Chronicles andnthe author of, most recently,nThe Homestead, a novel.n28/CHRONICLESnOPINIONSnFlat-Earth Theoriesnby Chilton Williamson, Jr.n”V&e victis.”n/ n--,. ;n• ^n -‘Vn^:^nnnThe Conquest of Paradise is emphaticallynnot a contribution to historicalnliterature; rather it is an example ofncontemporary political ecology, culminatingnin a full and uncritical endorsementnof the absurd conclusions developednby “ecologists” like Bill Mc-nKibben in The End of Nature andnDave Foreman, formerly of EarthnFirst!, in Confessions of an Eco-nWarrior. (Sale, among whose previousnbooks is a history of Students for anDemocratic Society, belongs to thenNew York Green Party, of which henwas a founder.) Indeed McKibben — anformer editor at the New Yorker withnno reputed competence, to my knowledge,nin the history of New Worldnexploration — has provided “advancenpraise” for The Conquest of Paradise.n”In his impressive book,” McKibbennintones, “Kirkpatrick Sale shows thatnthe first voyages of ‘discovery’ offernlittle for us to celebrate. This is notninspiring history, but it is absolutelynnecessary history; for the sad patternsnset in 1492 govern our relationshipnwith the New Worid to this day. Perhapsnthe 500th anniversary will beginnwith a new truth-telling. If so, this booknwill have been an important cause.”nThat Sale’s book and McKibben’sncomments accurately represent thenleftist mood as it builds toward thenColumbian quincentennial next year isnconfirmed by the recent denunciationnof Columbus by the National Councilnof Churches, which described hisnachievement as not a “discovery” butnan “invasion” — a word that KirkpatricknSale regularly employs in the pagesnof The Conquest of Paradise. ThusnJoseph Sobran’s “Hive,” and HaroldnRosenberg’s “herd of independentnminds,” begin to buzz and to low onn