1491: New Revelations of the Americas Before Columbus by Charles C. Mann

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Read 1491: New Revelations of the Americas Before Columbus Online Free - In this groundbreaking work of science, history, and archaeology, Charles C. Mann radically alters our understanding of the Americas before the arrival of Columbus in 1492.
 
Contrary to what so many Americans learn in school, the pre-Columbian Indians were not sparsely settled in a pristine wilderness; rather, there were huge numbers of Indians who actively molded and influenced the land around them. The astonishing Aztec capital of Tenochtitlan had running water and immaculately clean streets, and was larger than any contemporary European city. Mexican cultures created corn in a specialized breeding process that it has been called man’s first feat of genetic engineering. Indeed, Indians were not living lightly on the land but were landscaping and manipulating their world in ways that we are only now beginning to understand. Challenging and surprising, this a transformative new look at a rich and fascinating world we only thought we knew.



Title : 1491: New Revelations of the Americas Before Columbus
Author :
Rating :
ISBN : 1400032059
Edition Language : English
Format Type : Paperback
Number of Pages : 541 pages


Reviews


Brendan rated it ★★☆☆☆

December 29, 2011

The survey of current thinking on the population of the americas via that Beringia land bridge and the subsequent summary of the evolutions of early american society is interesting. But the repeated comparisons between american society and eurasian society are really fraught and often belabored. T...


Jason rated it ★★★★★

March 25, 2013

This was like a coloring book of pre-Pilgrim North America for me in that it filled in a lot of unanswered questions and brilliantly illuminated some areas of my knowledge that were mere outlines. It stays within the lines and makes my early attempts at coloring in the past look like spidery, sei...


Douglas rated it ★★★★☆

July 30, 2007

As someone who writes professionally in this area (unabashed plug: watch for God's Mercies, Doubleday Canada, in October 07) I have high praise for this title, a long-overdue assessment of native culture and civilization before (and at) contact with Europeans. I'm still reading it, but I've been...


Jason rated it ★★★★☆

December 04, 2013

Very well written, a good mixture of factual evidence and narrative. The main take home point here should be known to everyone, especially Americans. There is a reason why there was a period of 128 years between Colombus' landing and a permanent European settlement in North America. Namely, there...


Ken-ichi rated it ★★★☆☆

August 13, 2011

In brief: I felt this was an adequate, often fascinating summary of human habitation of the Americas prior to the arrival of Europeans as understood by present-day historians and scientists. I was happy to see that Mann highlighted controversial areas without simply adopting one side of any given...


Felicia rated it ★★★★★

December 25, 2011

Fascinating exploration of what we know of the "New World" before Columbus arrived. I knew pretty much nothing about the Incas, the Mayans, the Aztecs, and all the other societies that actually were possibly BIGGER than Europe in 1492, and dwarfed it in centuries before. It's also an interesting...


Hana rated it ★★☆☆☆

April 29, 2015

See updated alternative reading recommendations below. Well, I finally finished it. There were some interesting factoids, such as the theory that much of the Amazon rainforest was planted by humans, but even then the data were not marshaled in a convincing, coherent fashion. Over all, the book was...


Tripp rated it ★★★★★

February 03, 2008

Author Charles Mann's purpose is to debunk three commonly held ideas about the Americas before Columbus: that the continents were sparsely populated, that the social and technical development was limited and that the locals left the environment untouched. In discussing scholarly debates on these s...


Bruce rated it ★★★★★

January 12, 2009

Let me start by noting that Mann is a journalist, rather than a historian or cultural anthropologist. This results in a work that is extremely accessible to the non specialist reader and lacking in jargon. So much of our notions of what North America was like before Europeans arrived are the resu...


Stefan rated it ★☆☆☆☆

December 04, 2013

This book could be good. Unfortunately the author seems determined in every part of his "research" to interject his own opinion without duly backing it up. I stopped reading it somewhere around page 100, where the author makes the comparison between ritual human sacrifice by the Aztecs and execut...





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