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 by Charles C. Mann X
1491 by Charles C. Mann
  • Critics' Opinion:

    Readers' Opinion:

  • First Published:
    Aug 2005, 480 pages
    Paperback:
    Oct 2006, 528 pages

    Genres

  • Rate this book


Book Reviewed by:
BookBrowse Review Team
Buy This Book

About this Book

Reviews

Page 1 of 1
There are currently 7 reader reviews for 1491
Order Reviews by:

Write your own review!

Jacob Litoff

Excellent Book
I greatly enjoyed reading this book and discovering the history of the Native American Indians.
Peter Boyle

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.
Mary Lee Parrington

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."
vince storti

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.
Marty Chenault

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?
Ilsa

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.
David Libenson

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.
  • Page
  • 1

Editor's Choice

  • Book Jacket: The Beekeeper of Aleppo
    The Beekeeper of Aleppo
    by Christy Lefteri
    In Christy Lefteri's sophomore novel, The Beekeeper of Aleppo, the author introduces readers to ...
  • Book Jacket: Marilou Is Everywhere
    Marilou Is Everywhere
    by Sarah Elaine Smith
    "The point is that at that moment in my life," writes the narrator of Sarah Elaine Smith's debut ...
  • Book Jacket: Let's Call It a Doomsday
    Let's Call It a Doomsday
    by Katie Henry
    However the world will end, Ellis Kimball is ready for it. Her obsessive stash of survivalist ...
  • Book Jacket: The Winemaker's Wife
    The Winemaker's Wife
    by Kristin Harmel
    Liv Kent's world is falling apart. After 12 years of marriage, her husband has decided he's done, ...

Readers Recommend

  • Book Jacket

    Yale Needs Women
    by Anne Gardiner Perkins

    A tale of courage in the face of arrogance that remains eerily relevant on U.S. campuses today.
    Reader Reviews

  • Book Jacket

    The Secrets We Kept
    by Lara Prescott

    Reese Witherspoon's Sept Book Club Pick!
    "This is the rare page-turner with prose that’s as wily as its plot."—EW
    Reader Reviews

Book Club
Book Jacket
The Book Woman of Troublesome Creek
by Kim Michele Richardson

A story of raw courage, fierce strength, and one woman's belief that books can carry us anywhere.

About the book
Join the discussion!
Win this book!
Win Chase Darkness with Me

How One True-Crime Writer Started Solving Murders

Have you ever wanted to solve a murder? Gather the clues the police overlooked? Put together the pieces? Identify the suspect?

Enter

Word Play

Solve this clue:

S S A C A Big S

and be entered to win..

Books that     
entertain,
     engage

 & enlighten

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

Join Today!

Your guide toexceptional          books

BookBrowse seeks out and recommends the best in contemporary fiction and nonfiction—books that not only engage and entertain but also deepen our understanding of ourselves and the world around us.