1491: New Revelations of the Americas Before Columbus
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1491: New Revelations of the Americas Before Columbus


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
Edition Language:English
Format Type:Paperback
Number of Pages:541 pages

    1491: New Revelations of the Americas Before Columbus Reviews

  • Brendan
    Sep 13, 2007

    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 co...

  • Jason Koivu
    Nov 22, 2008

    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 ...

  • Douglas Hunter
    Jul 27, 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 cult...

  • Jason
    Aug 14, 2007

    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 ye...

  • Felicia
    Dec 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 p...

  • Ken-ichi
    Nov 28, 2007

    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 hap...

  • Hana
    Dec 05, 2013

    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, bu...

  • Tripp
    Feb 02, 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 limi...

  • Bruce
    Jan 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 ja...

  • Stefan
    Aug 01, 2008

    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 1...