Customer Reviews for

1491: New Revelations of the Americas Before Columbus

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Most Helpful Favorable Review

21 out of 21 people found this review helpful.

eye opening

I felt motivated to write this review after seeing some of the other reviewers comment on very odd things. This book was eye opening for me. I couldn't put it down--which says something. And it changed the way I think about the history of the Americas and the world. ...
I felt motivated to write this review after seeing some of the other reviewers comment on very odd things. This book was eye opening for me. I couldn't put it down--which says something. And it changed the way I think about the history of the Americas and the world. Regarding the person who claims that Mann criticizes environmentalists--nothing could be further from the truth. I am an ardent conservationist and am quoting Mann in my master's thesis. He discusses some very central controversies in conservation. For the person who was so outraged by the idea that some native peoples prefer to be called Indians--actually some do. And this may be more relevant in Spanish. While indio is an insult in some countries, there are native people in Colombia who refer to themselves as indios. I wasn't sure where the rage was coming from, but Mann was not incorrect. In addition, I would have to go back to the book, but I didn't interpret his portrayal of Holmberg as insulting. I thought that Mann actually spoke quite highly of him. There is much to like in this book, and maybe the fact that it can stir up so much controversy is part of that.

posted by Anonymous on September 23, 2007

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Most Helpful Critical Review

10 out of 12 people found this review helpful.

Footnotes are not displayed in text - huge problem for critical reader

I found this book to be a very interesting read - particularly from the perspective of a biologist and professional conservationist. However one thing about the Nook e-version totally ticked me off. The notes, very important references to sources for some pretty contr...
I found this book to be a very interesting read - particularly from the perspective of a biologist and professional conservationist. However one thing about the Nook e-version totally ticked me off. The notes, very important references to sources for some pretty controversial material, were NOT displayed in the text. That made it impossible to read, and as you go along, consider validity of the author's positions relative to the sources he felt supported them. There were references to some interesting Appendices made in the text, and there were asterisks linked to brief explanations included at the end of each chapter, but none of the text included reference notes. They were there, following page 410, seventy-eight pages of them, and you could link from them to the text page they were associated with, but not the line or statement there. Regardless, once at the end, to go back and try to integrate references into your thinking just doesn't work. If I were the author I'd be furious. As it is I just feel ripped off. B&A must do better than this!

posted by StreamFollower on October 30, 2011

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  • Posted October 30, 2011

    Footnotes are not displayed in text - huge problem for critical reader

    I found this book to be a very interesting read - particularly from the perspective of a biologist and professional conservationist. However one thing about the Nook e-version totally ticked me off. The notes, very important references to sources for some pretty controversial material, were NOT displayed in the text. That made it impossible to read, and as you go along, consider validity of the author's positions relative to the sources he felt supported them. There were references to some interesting Appendices made in the text, and there were asterisks linked to brief explanations included at the end of each chapter, but none of the text included reference notes. They were there, following page 410, seventy-eight pages of them, and you could link from them to the text page they were associated with, but not the line or statement there. Regardless, once at the end, to go back and try to integrate references into your thinking just doesn't work. If I were the author I'd be furious. As it is I just feel ripped off. B&A must do better than this!

    10 out of 12 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted April 21, 2006

    Food for thought...

    I have always thought the traditional history taught in schools is incorrect and lacking. But I don't think this book provides all the answers. I think Mann assumes quite a bit in some of his arguements and makes some claims that seem to be a stretch at best. But this is a good book and I think anyone interested in history should read it, just keep an open mind on some of the claims. Just because it is in a book does not make it true.

    4 out of 6 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 29, 2006

    Half this book is just dandy!

    The rest, sadly, seems to be overly-PC journalistic obiter dicta one wonders if this chap was being paid by the word. Still, the current -- well, I suppose, science, if one can really call cultural anthropology any such thing -- is nicely summarized and the changes from the stuff that was 'official' and which has been suspect since the days of Franz Boas, is shown to be even more uncertain at best. The book drives yet another nail in the Smithsonian's ethnological coffin -- a good thing. A fascinating read, in any case.

    2 out of 6 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 7, 2013

    it was a good read

    it was a good read

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 19, 2012

    Ehh

    The book was ok not the best i ever read

    0 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 25, 2006

    Almost Really Good

    I would have given this book 5 stars just for the interesting topic, and it is a good read. But the author nearly ruins the entire book with his editorial tirades against environmentalists. He implies that every single inch of the earth should be covered and altered with something man-made. Also, just from a research perspective, many of his 'facts' are no properly footnoted, so it is really almost impossible to go back and verify the information in the book. Still a great read, but Mr. Mann should go for a hike and enjoy some wilderness.

    0 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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    Posted February 10, 2011

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    Posted August 28, 2011

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