1491: New Revelations of the Americas Before Columbus

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
ISBN:9781400032051

    1491: New Revelations of the Americas Before Columbus Reviews

  • Rick Riordan

    My favorite recent history book, Mann surveys the breadth and complexity of indigenous cultures in the Americas before the arrival of Columbus. Some of this research was familiar to me. When I taught ...

  • Brendan

    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

    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

    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

    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...

  • Hana

    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...

  • Trevor

    You know – in fourteen-hundred-and-ninety-two Columbus sailed the ocean blue. So, 1491 was a particularly interesting year for the inhabitants of the Americas. This is a remarkably similar story to ...

  • Felicia

    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

    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...

  • Tripp

    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...