10/11/2010 07:18 am ET Updated May 25, 2011

Columbus Day 2010: 5 Books That Expose The Scandals, Violence And Dubious Tactics Of America's Discoverer (PHOTOS)

Today is Columbus Day 2010 -- a day when Americans celebrate the man who allegedly discovered America. Nearly 500 years after Columbus sailed the ocean blue in 1492, the United States declared October 12th -- or the nearest Monday -- a federal holiday in honor of the national hero.

Yet in more recent years the heroic status of Columbus has been challenged. Authors from Howard Zinn to Richard Shenkman have written new histories of America, offering shocking evidence of the imperfections and scandals that surrounded Columbus. Called everything from a "rapist" to an "idiot," Columbus Day now occupies the position of a bonafide controversy in the annals of America.

Here's are just a few books that expose the underbelly of the Columbus' myth. We're sure we missed some good ones. But here's the real question: should Columbus Day be celebrated or be ignored?

Columbus Day 2010