Category Archives: history

1491: New Revelations of the Americas Before Columbus by Charles C Mann


Holy crap, this book. I had to check it out 3 times to get through it – it’s dense, and can get bogged down in details, and I had to skip backward a lot to figure out what I must have missed. But it’s worth the effort, because the picture it gives of the Americas before and immediately after the Europeans first landed is eye-opening. Be warned, though, if you are as susceptible to white guilt as I tend to be, you will be horrified. As well you should be, but…it’s excruciating at times. It’s interesting to note that the world of historians and anthropologists isn’t any different from the world of their larger societies – unpopular ideas, even with extraordinary amounts of evidence behind them, get squashed by the more powerful factions.