A groundbreaking study that
radically alters our understanding of the Americas before the arrival of the
Europeans in 1492.
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. Among them:
Mann sheds clarifying light on the methods used to arrive at these new visions of the pre-Columbian Americas and how they have affected our understanding of our history and our thinking about the environment. His book is an exciting and learned account of scientific inquiry and revelation.
Why Billington Survived
The Friendly Indian
On March 22, 1621, an official Native American delegation walked through what is now southern New England to negotiate with a group of foreigners who had taken over a recently deserted Indian settlement. At the head of the party was an uneasy triumvirate: Massasoit, the sachem (political-military leader) of the Wampanoag confederation, a loose coalition of several dozen villages that controlled most of what is now southeastern Massachusetts; Samoset, sachem of an allied group to the north; and Tisquantum, a distrusted captive, whom Massasoit had reluctantly brought along as an interpreter.
Massasoit was an adroit politician, but the dilemma he faced would have tested Machiavelli. About five years before, most of his subjects had fallen before a terrible calamity. Whole villages had been ...
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.
(Reviewed by BookBrowse Review Team).
Full Review (286 words).
The article that
formed the basis for this book was originally published in The Atlantic
Monthly 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 ...
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