- Paperback: 560 pages
- Publisher: Granta Books (6 Sept. 2012)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1847082459
- ISBN-13: 978-1847082459
- Product Dimensions: 12.9 x 4.5 x 19.8 cm
- Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars See all reviews (24 customer reviews)
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 31,532 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
1493: How Europe's Discovery of the Americas Revolutionized Trade, Ecology and Life on Earth Paperback – 6 Sep 2012
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A "New York Times" Notable Book A "TIME" Magazine Best Book of the Year A "Washington Post "Notable Book "Fascinating. . . . Lively. . . . A convincing explanation of why our world is the way it is." --"The New York Times Book Review" "Even the wisest readers will find many surprises here. . . . Like "1491," Mann's sequel will change worldviews." --"San Francisco Chronicle" "Exemplary in its union of meaningful fact with good storytelling, "1493" ranges across continents and centuries to explain how the world we inhabit came to be." --"The Washington Post " "Engaging . . . Mann deftly illuminates contradictions on a human scale: the blind violence and terror at Jamestown, the cruel exploitation of labor in the silver mines of Bolivia, the awe felt by Europeans upon first seeing a rubber ball bounce." --"The New Yorker" "Revelatory." --Lev Grossman, "Time" Magazine "Compelling and eye-opening." --"Publishers Weekly" Top 100 Books of 2011 "A book to celebrate. . . A bracingly persuasive counternarrative to the prevailing mythology about the historical significance of the 'discovery' of America. . . "1493" is rich in detail, analytically expansive and impossible to summarize. . . [Mann's book] deserves a prominent place among that very rare class of books that can make a difference in how we see the world, although it is neither a polemic nor a work of advocacy. Thoughtful, learned and respectful of its subject matter, "1493" is a splendid achievement." --"The Oregonian" "Despite his scope, Mann remains grounded in fascinating details. . . . Such technical insights enhance a very human story, told in lively and accessible prose." --"Cleveland Plain-Dealer" "Mann's excitement never flags as he tells his breathtaking story. . . There is grandeur in this view of the past that looks afresh at the different parts of the world and the parts each played in shaping
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.
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.
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.
The first few chapters describe what Mann calls the "Tobacco Coast" - the Jamestown settlement and its relationship with the American Indians. Mann is at his best here, explaining the details of malaria and the mosquitos who carried it, the politics of the Indian tribes and of the English emigrants. The next few chapters are equally good - there is a wonderful explanation of the Chinese monetary system and why for the first time the Chinese needed something from Europeans - silver. Equally interesting is his narrative on the spread of American crops such as sweet potato and potato in China and Ireland and their role in ecological disaster and in famine.
Thereafter, Mann gets a bit repetitive and moves away from the central thesis of the book. His chapter "Black Gold" on the spread of rubber trees to Indo-China, while interesting in its own right means a repetition of the points already made in relation to the potato. Respite is at hand with a good, balanced chapter on the causes and effects of the slave trade. But as the author runs out of things to say we lose the synthesis and analysis of theories on the Columbian exchanges and get bogged down in travelogue and unconnected, rather repetitive stories of (e.g.) maroon communities.
Throughout, Mann is balanced in explaining different points of view on globalisation - both its benefits and its costs. He writes more in the style of a journalist than a historian. Whether you find this attractive or not is a matter of taste. On the whole, I liked it but thought there was an avoidable tendency towards hyperbole on occasions.Read more ›
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 9 months ago by Adriana Quintero Grijalba
This book represents volume 2 of Charles C. Mann's review of the Americas before and after Columbus's "discovery" of the western hemisphere. Read morePublished 10 months ago by Dick_Chester
Fantastically informative read. Mann works like a mole in the soil of history. Great achievement.Published 12 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 12 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 on 18 May 2014 by IMU
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