- Hardcover: 544 pages
- Publisher: Granta (15 Sept. 2011)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1847080499
- ISBN-13: 978-1847080493
- Product Dimensions: 15.6 x 4.8 x 23.4 cm
- Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars See all reviews (22 customer reviews)
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 426,493 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
1493: How Europe's Discovery of the Americas Revolutionized Trade, Ecology and Life on Earth Hardcover – 15 Sep 2011
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More About the Author
`Almost mind-boggling in its scope, enthusiasm and erudition ... a tremendously provocative, learned and surprising read' --Sunday Times
`A wonderfully entertaining and subtly balanced book' --New Scientist
'Drawing on new research, Mann reframes the past 500 years to riveting effect' --Nature
`Charles Mann gives us the version of the Columbian outcome that our era calls for'
About the Author
CHARLES MANN is the co-author of four books, including The Second Creation: Makers of the Revolution in 20th Century Physics and the bestselling 1491 (2005/6). He is the correspondent for The Atlantic Monthly and Science magazines, and editorial co-ordinator for the internationally best-selling Material World books. He lives in Massachusetts.
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Top Customer Reviews
Perhaps we don't discuss these things because a potato or a malaria virus doesn't seem as exciting as the French Revolution or Abraham Lincoln. But Charles Mann can make a gripping tale out of the potato.
There are also many intriguing chapters of history that I had never come across before, and I am sure many readers will be in the same position.
The book is well very written and is constantly entertaining.
I felt it was a little too long and that some of the material (while always interesting) was a little far away from the theme. The author could perhaps have been more disciplined about what to include and what to leave out.
The final chapter struck me as a little odd too, as Mann suddenly becomes quite critical of globalisation but then seems unsure of himself. The style here does not quite fit the rest of the book. In reality globalisation (like most things - the printed page, or the internet for example) has good and bad aspects, being a reflection of the humans behind it.
Overall highly recommended, for a world view which is not available elsewhere.
This book is a fabulous read. Extensively researched and making widespread links it shows how man, mammon and nature were all affected by the Columbian Exchange. Travelling from Europe to the Americas to Asia, Mann tells the story of silver and malaria, and why African slaves were preferred to cheaper 'indentured' white workers. It explains how China changed as much as the Americas and why the seeds of current discord were sown many centuries before. A thrilling mix of history and economics, 1493 is clever and addictive.
In '1493' Mann takes the story on from the point of discovery to demonstrate how life in Asia, Europe, Africa and the Americas was alter as a result of the global trade which resulted between these continents. His central thesis, which is not an original one as he acknowledges, is that since Columbus set foot in the Caribbean, the world has lost its regional distinctiveness. This has led to progressive homogenisation across the planet throughout the last 500 years, a period of time he calls the Homogenocene.
The book covers a variety of wide ranging topics such as the Virginia colony, the effects of disease, cultivation of crops, China's obsession with silver, mosquito's and rubber. The book is structured by looking at the effect on different geographic areas such as Europe, the Atlantic and the Pacific.
The book however is too long. It lacks some of the focus and brevity of 1491. I found some of the stories he recounts are not as interesting as the author might think and I found myself flicking ahead to see how much of the chapter a particular topic covers.
Some of the maps are reproduced with font which makes them illegible.
Overall the book reads like a collection of magazine articles which have been elaborated which the statement inside the front cover that "portions of this book appeared in different form in The Atlantic, National Geographic et al" confirms. I tired of Mann repeatedly inserting comments where he introduced the name of researcher in a field who's account he drawing on. I know that you are a writer and not a specialist in the field. Just include a good bibliography.Read more ›
Don't miss this book! It's a tour de force!
In 1493, author Charles C. Mann accomplishes that most difficult of all nonfiction tasks: changing our perception of the world as it is . . . and how it got to be that way. Bravo!
To make the points easier to appreciate, he focuses on a few economic, biological, and physical aspects of how Columbus's voyages fundamentally changed the world. You'll learn about trading silver for silks in the Philippines, the influence of malaria and yellow fever on slavery, how crops and agricultural practices create other problems and opportunities, a sovereign debt crisis in Spain, hidden "kingdoms" of escaped slaves, miracle crops you think of as being part of "home" that you didn't realize came from another continent, and many stupid things that greedy people and governments do. You'll come away with a sense of wonder about how small things can become huge influences.
The book, no doubt, will also encourage you to want to read more about the topics raised in it. In some cases, you'll want to visit places you've never thought about before. The excellent footnotes will make either activity easy to pursue.
In my case, I realized what a close thing it was that I'm alive today. If my Scottish indentured servant ancestors had been sent to North Carolina rather than Delaware, you probably wouldn't be reading this review.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
On Kindle - thank you. I ordered this in hard copy for my father in law. Coming from Colombia, but living in Europe, I look forward to reading this.Published 1 month ago by Adriana Quintero Grijalba
Fantastically informative read. Mann works like a mole in the soil of history. Great achievement.Published 3 months ago by wlodarczak
Explains the impact that European arrival had on North America, goes into the animals brought over, the seeds in their hooves, ailments, and even the disappearance of a race of... Read morePublished 3 months ago by ellison
This is The single best book that I have ever read about the impact of the first voyages of the Spanish, on the New Work and on Asia and the related repercussions for Africa and... Read morePublished 21 months ago by IMU
I have enjoyed this book tremendously. It is apparently an amplification of an earlier book on the same subject. Much of the information is mind blowing.Published 24 months ago by John Dew
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