Charles Mann takes us on a virutal tour of the America's before Columbus by introducing us to it's first peoples. The resulting impact and scope of life here before and after the arrival of "modern" Europeans is well illustrated and documented.
The pristine wilderness that greeted the earliest European visitors had already been engineered by the original inhabitants to enable them to enjoy a viable and civilized America with a well fed and organized population. Savanna's and forests were here by virtue of the careful management by the first occupants who thickly populated the continents of North and South America.
Once again I am confronted with the reluctance of science to accept new ideas simply to defend turf.
"1491" is a great book, an enjoyable read and a real service to all interested in the history of the America's, the people who first managed it, and we who continue to do so today.
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1491: New Revelations of the Americas Before Columbus
Used Trade Paper
Charles C. Mann
0 stars -
Vintage Books USA -
by Jill Owens,
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.
by Jill Owens
by Library Journal,
"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."
by Kirkus Reviews,
"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."
by Alan Taylor, the Washington Post Book World,
"In sum, Mann tells a powerful, provocative and important story — especially in the chapters on the Andes and Amazonia."
by Kevin Baker, The New York Times Book 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."
by Boston Globe,
"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."
by Providence Journal,
"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."
by Los Angeles Times,
"[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."
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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