From the book jacket:
Traditionally, Americans learned in
school that the ancestors of the people who inhabited the Western Hemisphere at
the time of Columbuss landing had crossed the Bering Strait twelve thousand
years ago; existed mainly in small, nomadic bands; and lived so lightly on the
land that the Americas was, for all practical purposes, still a vast wilderness.
But as Charles C. Mann now makes clear, archaeologists and anthropologists have
spent the last thirty years proving these and many other long-held assumptions
wrong. In a book that startles and persuades, Mann reveals how a new generation
of researchers equipped with novel scientific techniques came to previously
unheard-of conclusions. Comment
is a very readable
account of the history of the American people before the lands were 'discovered'
Beyond the Book
The article that
formed the basis for this book was originally published in The Atlantic
in 2002. If, after reading the extensive book excerpt and author
interview at BookBrowse, you want to read more you can read the Atlantic Monthly
article here. Also of interest is an extensive review in the Washington Post Book World written by Alan Taylor, the author
of American Colonies
, and a professor of history at the University of
California at Davis.
Did you know?
In response to the frequently asked question, "why do you have a 'pretentious' C in
your name?" Charles C Mann replies, "I get asked about this a lot, occasionally in
exactly those words. The answer is not very interesting. I am named after my two...