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  • Published: New York : Knopf, 2005.
  • Year Published: 2005
  • Edition: 1st ed.
  • Description: 465 p.
  • Language: English
  • Format: Book

ISBN/Standard Number

  • 140004006X :

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1491 : new revelations of the Americas before Columbus

by Mann, Charles C.

There is currently 1 available

Where To Find It

Call number: 970.011 Ma

Available Copies: Downtown 2nd Floor

Community Reviews

Prepare yourself for repeated mind-blowing

I don't think I've ever read anything that completely shifted my perception of the world as many times as '1491' did. In more ways than I can count, this book has fundamentally altered the way I think about the continent that I've lived on for my entire life, and the people who lived here before my own ancestors arrived, and how shamefully little I was taught about those first Americans in school and college.

I honestly had never given any thought at all to what Native Americans did with the 15,000 years between coming to North America and making contact with Europeans. I assumed, based on the fact that it had never been brought up, that they basically made war, gathered herbs, used every part of the buffalo, and basically didn't change single a thing about two entire continents for up to fifteen millennia.

Boy, I could not have been more wrong.

When Europeans first arrived in the New World, they kept going on and on in their early accounts about how green and fertile this new land was, how lush and full of game; almost like a garden, or a game preserve. WELL, THERE WAS A REASON FOR THAT. Native Americans, from Alaska to Tierra del Fuego, made enormous changes to their environments, mainly through the use of controlled burns to clear forests and create open fields which were attractive to game animals like deer and rabbits. In Mesoamerica, they built complex societies with advanced mathematics, architecture, and philosophy; in the Southwest, they built entire cities into the sides of cliffs; and in the northeast, the Iroquois League created a representative democracy which would later serve as the basis for the Constitution of the United States of America. The list of their accomplishments goes on and on.

This book comes with my highest recommendations. This book should be on the required reading list for every person who lives in the New World, or whose life has been affected by their discovery and colonization.

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