Wendy Weising, January 14, 2009 (view all comments by Wendy Weising)
Nonfiction can be like a good novel! Normally these words would not come out of my mouth. I love fiction. Finding a new novel with fascinating characters and an interesting plot that glues me to that novel, is one of life’s joys. However, this past year I took a chance. I stepped out of my comfort zone and read several nonfiction books. They ended up being some of the best writing I have ever read. One of these books was, 1491: New Revelations of the Americas before Columbus, by Charles C. Mann. As Mann describes the scene of the Americas before Christopher Columbus’ arrival and the history that led up to it, I could not stop reading. He challenged my mind and my imagination. He is an amazing historian and writer.
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martola, August 2, 2007 (view all comments by martola)
I'm impressed with the information in this book. I feel very fortunate Charles C. Mann put toghether this information into this book. There's one thing I strongly disagree with Mann on this book-his claim that some Natives prefer to be called Indian instead of "Native Americans" is at most a "stupidaggine" (absurdity) as the that name was concocted by ignorance! The very ignorance of Christoforo Colombo or "Cristobal Colon" who thought he had landed in India. Why do we continue to perpetuate ignorance is unknown to me. Unless, of course, immigrants from other lands now want to claim the title for themselves! I'm sure it wouldn't matter now, they took everything else already from Native Peoples...
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jattrill, January 14, 2007 (view all comments by jattrill)
This is a very readable account of modern thoughts about the Americas in Pre-Colombian times. It argues that the population of the Americas was far larger than conventional historians believe. Several civilizations are thought to have been much further advanced than previously admitted. American Indians are thought to have managed/farmed the habitat of the Midwest and Amazonia through the use of fire and selective breeding of plants to produce a higher than expected proportion of edible nuts and fruit.
I would thoroughly recommend this book to anyone interested in history or travel in the Americas.
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1491: New Revelations of the Americas before Columbus
Charles C Mann
0 stars -
Alfred A. Knopf -
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."
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