1491 (Second Edition): New Revelations of the Americas Before Columbus

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Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group, Oct 10, 2006 - History - 576 pages
3289 Reviews

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.




From the Trade Paperback edition.
 

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User Review  - untraveller - LibraryThing

Wish I could have given this book a better rating, but my prejudices against archaeologists just continues to shine through. There are some really good points made throughout the book, things I didn't ... Read full review

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User Review  - Whiskey3pa - LibraryThing

A very good book. Written in a style that draws you along, despite the information volume. Does a good job of separating generally accepted theory from more exotic guesses and identifying them as such. The death tolls, both in humanity and culture/society are simply staggering. Read full review

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Contents

A View from Above
3
Why Billington Survived
35
In the Land of Four Quarters
71
Pleistocene Wars
155
Cotton or Anchovies and Maize Tales of
197
Made in America
277
The Great Law of Peace
379
Acknowledgments
415
io The Artificial Wilderness 360
466
Bibliography
471
Index
533
Copyright

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About the author (2006)

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.

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