Reader reviews and comments on 1491, plus links to write your own review.

Summary |  Excerpt |  Reading Guide |  Reviews |  Beyond the book |  Readalikes |  Genres & Themes |  Author Bio

1491

New Revelations of the Americas Before Columbus

By Charles C. Mann

1491
  • Critics' Opinion:

    Readers' Opinion:

  • Hardcover: Aug 2005,
    480 pages.
    Paperback: Oct 2006,
    528 pages.

    Publication Information

  • Rate this book


Buy This Book

About this Book

Reviews

Page 1 of 1
There are currently 6 reader reviews for 1491
Order Reviews by:

Write your own review!

vince storti (10/29/11)

what was missed
I liked the beginning; what came after was a hodgepodge running in circles from Eastern seaboard to Brazil to Peru and back again, all the while neglecting areas northwest and Southwest of Central Mexico and South of Mexico in North America and neglecting Northern parts of South America. The books seemed to be hit and miss, with no indication of the intellectual background of the journalist; some ethnology, some archeology, some prehistory, some travelogue, some guessimations of psychology. If he had a good editor, he'd have been able to get twice the information in on half the pages. Footnotes were assigned page numbers (no note numbers); what academia teaches these days I know not.
Peter Boyle (08/15/11)

What Archaeology Tells Us
As a retired Archaeologist I found 1491 to be a readable synthesis of what Archaeologists and Geographers have talked about for a long time. Humans have been in the Americas for over 20,000 years (as recent, long suppressed, publications by Tom Dillehay and Mike Adovoso have proven). We knew much of this 20 or more years ago, and I am glad that someone finally wrote a readable book about it.
Ilsa (01/08/11)

1491 Revisionism
While the research is surprising regarding pre-European Indian demographics and culture (though not well-cited, so not really credible), the data and interpretations of European ethnocentricity is not.

However, the self-conscious, pervasive tone of condescension toward "revisionist" history (near anything pre this author), affected sniffy tone and at times nearly fantastic yet dogged interpretations about Indian motives, including, for instance, those as being undilutedly anti-European, dissembling and conniving from Tisquntum, make this potentially educational book a tiresome, black-and-white read.

1491 would be so much more enjoyable with a less self-placing author; less didactic, authoritarian tone; and the addition of verified facts and a more tentative tone and interpretations. It is perhaps more tyranical toward the reader than its Anglophile predecessors.
Marty Chenault (11/17/09)

1491
What were the effects of the Black Death on Europe during this period? I believe it wiped out about 2/3 of the population of that part of the world, so is this PC revisionist history at work?
David Libenson (01/23/08)

Disorganized opinions
I agree with the Washington Post review. This book is very disorganized. It is filled with personal opinions that are not properly cited. The reference notes are not in the text and it is very difficult to determine the author's sources. He jumps around fro era to era and geographic location to location. I learned more about the pre-Columbian Americas in the museums in Mexico City and Lima than from this book. Furthermore a high percentage of the material is post 1492.

I am very surpised at the high praise given this book and have to believe most reviewers did not read it; rather took their reviews from publicity releases.
Mary Lee Parrington (08/09/07)

A Fresh Look at the
It turns out "The New World" wasn't so new after all. The idea that North and South America, before Columbus, was home to more inhabitants than Europe at that time is completely at odds with what we learned in school. But in a work that synthesizes recent scholarship, Mann makes a very good case for the concept that ancient civilizations had inhabited the Western Hemisphere for millenia. It explains the existence of ruined cities throughout south and central America. and the huge contributions to agriculture; maize, tomatoes, and potatoes which became staples around the world. DNA analysis explains just how devastating European diseases were to Native Americans from the first moments of contact, even before European settlement. It is a fascinating look at an accidental disaster that did indeed create a "New World."
  • Page
  • 1
Member Benefits

Join Now!

Check the advantages!
Just $10 for 3 months or $35 for a year

    •  
    • FREE
    • MEMBER
    • Range of media reviews for each book
    • Excerpts of all featured books
    • Author bios, interviews and pronunciations
    • Browse by genre
    • Book club discussions
    • Book club advice and reading guides
    • BookBrowse reviews and "beyond the book" back-stories
    •  
    • Reviews of notable books ahead of publication
    •  
    • Free books to read and review (US Only)
    •  
    • Browse for the best books by time period, setting & theme
    •  
    • Read-alike suggestions for thousands of books and authors
    •  
    • 'My Reading List" to keep track of your books
    •  

Editor's Choice

  • Book Jacket: The Promise
    The Promise
    by Ann Weisgarber
    Canadian author, Lucy Maud Montgomery of Anne of Green Gables fame, once wrote that "...all things ...
  • Book Jacket: Black Moon
    Black Moon
    by Kenneth Calhoun
    The popularity of book-turned-movie World War Z and television series The Walking Dead points to a ...
  • Book Jacket: Hyde
    Hyde
    by Daniel Levine
    In Robert Louis Stevenson's 1886 novel, The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, the story ends ...

First Impressions

Members read and review books ahead
of publication. See what they think
in First Impressions!

Books that
expand your
horizons.

Visitors can view a lot of BookBrowse for free. Full access is for members only

Find out more.

Book Discussions
Book Jacket

The Storied Life of A. J. Fikry
by Gabrielle Zevin

Published Apr. 2014

Join the discussion!

Win this book!
Win The Steady Running of the Hour

The Steady Running of the Hour

"Exciting, emotionally engaging and amibtious. I loved it!" - Kate Mosse

Enter

Word Play

Solve this clue:

I T T O A Eye

and be entered to win..

Books thatinspire you.Handpicked.

Books you'll stay up all night reading; books that will whisk you to faraway places and times, books that will expand your mind and inspire you -- the kinds of books you just can't wait to tell your friends about.