Synopses & Reviews
A groundbreaking work of science, history, and archaeology that radically alters our understanding of the Americas before the arrival of Columbus in 1492 — from "a remarkably engaging writer" The New York Times Book Review.
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.
"Engagingly written and utterly absorbing.... Part detective story, part epic and part tragedy." The Miami Herald
"Fascinating....A landmark of a book that drops ingrained images of colonial American into the dustbin, one after the other." The Boston Globe
About the Author
Charles C. Mann, a correspondent for The Atlantic, Science, and Wired, has written for Fortune, The New York Times, Smithsonian, Technology Review, Vanity Fair, and The Washington Post, as well as for the TV network HBO and the series Law & Order. A three-time National Magazine Award finalist, he is the recipient of writing awards from the American Bar Association, the American Institute of Physics, the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation, and the Lannan Foundation. His 1491 won the National Academies Communication Award for the best book of the year. He lives in Amherst, Massachusetts.
Charles C. Mann on PowellsBooks.Blog
A few years ago, the science fiction writer Neal Stephenson complained that science fiction writers, who used to imagine bold, exciting new futures, now write in a “generally darker, more skeptical and ambiguous tone.” Tomorrow, he said, used to be greeted with anticipation...