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2 Local Warehouse US History- Colonial America

1491: New Revelations of the Americas Before Columbus

by

1491: New Revelations of the Americas Before Columbus Cover

 

Staff Pick

Charles C. Mann has pulled off an impressive feat — a scholarly, thorough work of history that's almost compulsively readable. In 1491, he summarizes and examines the last thirty years of research into the pre-Columbian Americas, and comes to some startling and exciting conclusions. Mann is an enthusiastic and capable guide, and 1491 is satisfyingly rich with description, anecdote, and example.
Recommended by Jill Owens, Powells.com

Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

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. From the astonishing Aztec capital of Tenochtitlán, which had running water, immaculately clean streets, and was larger than any contemporary European city, to the Mexican corn that was so carefully created in a specialized breeding process that it has been called man's first feat of genetic engineering, 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.

Review:

"Mann has done a superb job of analyzing and distilling information, offering a balanced and thoughtful perspective on each of his themes in engaging prose." Library Journal

Review:

"Unless you're an anthropologist, it's likely that everything you know about American prehistory is wrong. Science journalist Mann's survey of the current knowledge is a bracing corrective....An excellent, and highly accessible, survey of America's past." Kirkus Reviews

Review:

"In sum, Mann tells a powerful, provocative and important story — especially in the chapters on the Andes and Amazonia." Alan Taylor, the Washington Post Book World

Review:

"[A]n important corrective — a sweeping portrait of human life in the Americas before the arrival of Columbus....A remarkably engaging writer, [Mann] lucidly explains the significance of everything from haplogroups to glottochronology to landraces." Kevin Baker, The New York Times Book Review

Review:

"Mann has written a landmark of a book that drops ingrained images of colonial America into the dustbin one after the other, such as that of the Pilgrims finding a pristine world of woodlands and guileless natives." Boston Globe

Review:

"A must-read survey course of pre-Columbian history — current, meticulously researched, distilling volumes into single chapters to give general readers a broad view of the subject." Providence Journal

Review:

"[A] concise and brilliantly entertaining thesis. I don't agree with all his big conclusions, but 1491 makes me think of history in a new way." Los Angeles Times

Synopsis:

Mann offers a groundbreaking study that radically alters readers' understanding of the Americas before the arrival of the Europeans in 1492.

About the Author

Charles C. Mann is a correspondent for Science and The Atlantic Monthly, and has cowritten four previous books including Noah' Choice: The Future of Endangered Species and The Second Creation. A three-time National Magazine Award finalist, he has won awards from the American Bar Association, the Margaret Sanger Foundation, the American Institute of Physics, and the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation, among others. His writing was selected for The Best American Science Writing 2003 and The Best American Science and Nature Writing 2003. He lives with his wife and their children in Amherst, Massachusetts.

Table of Contents

List of Maps

Preface

INTRODUCTION / Holmbergs Mistake

1. A View from Above

PART ONE / Numbers from Nowhere?

2. Why Billington Survived

3. In the Land of Four Quarters

4. Frequently Asked Questions

PART TWO / Very Old Bones

5. Pleistocene Wars

6. Cotton (or Anchovies) and Maize (Tales of Two Civilizations, Part I)

7. Writing, Wheels, and Bucket Brigades (Tales of Two Civilizations, Part II)

PART THREE / Landscape with Figures

8. Made in America

9. Amazonia

10. The Artificial Wilderness

11. The Great Law of Peace

Appendixes

A. Loaded Words

B. Talking Knots

C. The Syphilis Exception

D. Calendar Math

Acknowledgments

Notes

Bibliography

Index

From the Hardcover edition.

What Our Readers Are Saying

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Average customer rating based on 11 comments:

Mysterious6030, January 2, 2013 (view all comments by Mysterious6030)
Scientific and historical journalism at its best, Charles C. Mann presents an eminently readable explication of the latest insights into the nature of the American societies and civilizations which thrived in the 'New World' centuries before they became new. Delving into thorny questions such as when and how the first Americans reached these continents, when they developed recorded language, and how the Indians manipulated or even created the environment surrounding them, Mann presents the available evidence and speculation fairly, in an understandable fashion which never patronizes the reader or his subject.
Was this comment helpful? | Yes | No
(7 of 14 readers found this comment helpful)
KEB, January 19, 2012 (view all comments by KEB)
1491 is a sweeping and gripping book about the Americas before Columbus which greatly increased my knowledge of the early American advanced civilizations. As one example, if we could rediscover how the indigenous Amazonians created the Amazon landscape and maintained fertility in tropical soils for 1000 years(!) we'd be able to improve poor tropical soils in Africa and elsewhere for sustainable agriculture.
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(9 of 17 readers found this comment helpful)
jcurry5556, January 1, 2012 (view all comments by jcurry5556)
Excellent piece on disease and the history of the Americas before Columbus and its effects on post Colombian discoveries.It should be required reading in every Junior High class room.Charles Mann did an excellent job of presenting the information in a precise and informative manner.JEFF CURRY
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(10 of 18 readers found this comment helpful)
View all 11 comments

Product Details

ISBN:
9781400032051
Author:
Mann, Charles C.
Publisher:
Vintage Books USA
Subject:
Americas (North Central South West Indies)
Subject:
North American
Subject:
Native American
Subject:
Antiquities
Subject:
America Antiquities.
Subject:
Indians -- Origin.
Subject:
Native American-General Native American Studies
Subject:
history;non-fiction;anthropology;native americans;archaeology;americas;american history;america;south america;indians;north america;native american;pre-columbian;american indians;science;ecology;15th century;prehistory;columbus;maya;inca;mexico;pre-columb
Subject:
history;non-fiction;anthropology;native americans;archaeology;americas;american history;america;south america;indians;north america;native american;pre-columbian;american indians;science;ecology;15th century;prehistory;columbus;maya;inca;mexico;pre-columb
Subject:
history;non-fiction;anthropology;native americans;archaeology;americas;american history;america;south america;indians;north america;native american;pre-columbian;american indians;science;ecology;15th century;prehistory;columbus;maya;inca;mexico;pre-columb
Copyright:
Edition Number:
Reprint ed.
Edition Description:
Trade paper
Series:
Vintage
Publication Date:
October 2006
Binding:
TRADE PAPER
Grade Level:
General/trade
Language:
English
Illustrations:
HALFTONES THROUGHOUT
Pages:
576
Dimensions:
8 x 5.15 x 1.3 in 1.15 lb

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Related Subjects


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Featured Titles » General
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History and Social Science » Native American » General Native American Studies
History and Social Science » US History » Colonial America
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1491: New Revelations of the Americas Before Columbus Used Trade Paper
0 stars - 0 reviews
$11.95 In Stock
Product details 576 pages Vintage Books USA - English 9781400032051 Reviews:
"Staff Pick" by ,

Charles C. Mann has pulled off an impressive feat — a scholarly, thorough work of history that's almost compulsively readable. In 1491, he summarizes and examines the last thirty years of research into the pre-Columbian Americas, and comes to some startling and exciting conclusions. Mann is an enthusiastic and capable guide, and 1491 is satisfyingly rich with description, anecdote, and example.

"Review" by , "Mann has done a superb job of analyzing and distilling information, offering a balanced and thoughtful perspective on each of his themes in engaging prose."
"Review" by , "Unless you're an anthropologist, it's likely that everything you know about American prehistory is wrong. Science journalist Mann's survey of the current knowledge is a bracing corrective....An excellent, and highly accessible, survey of America's past."
"Review" by , "In sum, Mann tells a powerful, provocative and important story — especially in the chapters on the Andes and Amazonia."
"Review" by , "[A]n important corrective — a sweeping portrait of human life in the Americas before the arrival of Columbus....A remarkably engaging writer, [Mann] lucidly explains the significance of everything from haplogroups to glottochronology to landraces."
"Review" by , "Mann has written a landmark of a book that drops ingrained images of colonial America into the dustbin one after the other, such as that of the Pilgrims finding a pristine world of woodlands and guileless natives."
"Review" by , "A must-read survey course of pre-Columbian history — current, meticulously researched, distilling volumes into single chapters to give general readers a broad view of the subject."
"Review" by , "[A] concise and brilliantly entertaining thesis. I don't agree with all his big conclusions, but 1491 makes me think of history in a new way."
"Synopsis" by , Mann offers a groundbreaking study that radically alters readers' understanding of the Americas before the arrival of the Europeans in 1492.
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