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1491: New Revelations of the Americas Before Columbus

Average Rating 4
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(9)

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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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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 23, 2007

    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. 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.

    21 out of 21 people found this review helpful.

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

    Posted June 3, 2008

    Still Reading ...

    Wonderfully explained and organized. The wealth of data is amazing and the unbiasedness is welcomed.

    4 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

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

    Posted December 30, 2007

    WOW

    One would think that reading about so many stats would just put one to sleep, BUT it did just the opposite for me. To understand the advanced societies in the Americas for so many centuries before the arrival of European virus just boggled my mind. If you have any interest in our past this is a must read. Until this book my perspective of pre-Columbus America was the European version.

    4 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

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

    Posted August 14, 2012

    I am fortunate enough to have a first edition of this book. Whi

    I am fortunate enough to have a first edition of this book. While I don't agree with everything that he wrote, the man made me THINK.

    The history itself is interesting and presented well. The most valuable service that this book does, though, is to clearly point out that more than a few generally accepted "facts" are really theories.

    BTW, "1493" is a good read, too.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 29, 2011

    Interesting and thought provoking

    Great read

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 9, 2008

    Superbly written

    Who were the first people on North and South America and how did they arrive here? A subject some don't care about but for us who do, its truly a mystery. The author chose a subject knowing how many would disagree with him but he came through with material to back his ideas up. Its interesting in that we can use this to save ourselves from destruction since so many before us did the same things were doing and didn't learn. To save our planet from our own wrath and be the ones who can at least say we learned from the past. What civilization will come next if we don't learn now? This is what our children have to look forward to.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 22, 2013

    Thought provoking view of pre-columbian history of the Americas; worth reading

    -

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  • Posted August 8, 2013

    This is a must read for anyone who wants to have a glimpse into

    This is a must read for anyone who wants to have a glimpse into life before Europeans. It is a shame what has been lost. This book dragged a bit in the middle but overall was an excellent source of information.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted February 16, 2013

    more from this reviewer

    Highly recommended.

    I found this book quite fascinating - -a good update and correction to what I had learned in school concerning the Americas. Well researched and written. Highly recommended. Oh, and there are ants in it, featured very early on!

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  • Posted January 12, 2013

    must read

    Much needed for those whose consider themselves informed green environmentalists who dictate their Disneyian ignorance to all around them, e.g. preservationist, vegan, pristine old growth. They will find this book shocking.

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

    Posted November 25, 2012

    Very thorough and thoughtful. The author explores a missing his

    Very thorough and thoughtful. The author explores a missing history that unfortunately requires a work such as this to be told. The author highlights the greatness and pitfalls of some of the greatest but least known civilizations.

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

    Posted May 14, 2012

    Fanastic

    Definately well written. Mann does a great job of keeping your attention and if great book for those historians out there. The book contains a wealth of knowledge of multiple subjects. Great read! Im looking into his other works already!

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

    Posted April 14, 2012

    F

    Name: Goldenflower

    Rank: hopes to be deputy

    Gender: she-cat

    Description: a pale ginger she-cat, with green eyes and white paws

    0 out of 6 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted March 14, 2012

    Excellent, entertaining and educational

    Well written and well researched book. It updated me on current trends in New World history, archaeology, and anthropology. Mr. Mann's deft weaving of these disciplines give a clear picture of what pre-Columbian Americas really were like- not what you were taught in school!

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted March 12, 2012

    more from this reviewer

    I found this book to be extremely interesting. I love anthropolo

    I found this book to be extremely interesting. I love anthropology, and learning about pre-Columbian civilizations ranks up there with Football and drinking beer. This is written for a mass audience, so it doesn't get overly technical. I would recommend this to anyone interested in anthropology or native civilizations.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted July 26, 2010

    Best in Class

    The book accurately and plainly states the new findings concerning the people that occupied the Americas before Columbus. This book has some depth and is insightful without being too academic. It is perfect for the history enthusiasts that already know quite a lot about American history and early civilizations.

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

    Posted March 6, 2006

    Mindboggling!!!

    To think that the 'Americas' were fully populated in 1491 and that the depopulation after 1492 was due primarily to disease brought unintentionally by the Europeans gives rise to wondering what our world would be like today if that had not happened. My only disappointment with the book was the omission of the cultures of the West and Northwest of North America.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 18, 2005

    asians llived in north america before 10000 years before Columbus

    asians were the first people in north america,so were the fist eskimos, they were asians. European Vikings came and intermarried with the asians, hence, the birth of the redskins, the american indians whom Columbus encountered when he came.

    0 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 29, 2012

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted January 3, 2012

    No text was provided for this review.

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