1493: Uncovering the New World Columbus Created Kindle

1493: Uncovering the New World Columbus Created From the author ofthe best selling study of the pre Columbian Americas a deeply engaging new history of the most momentous biological event since the death of the dinosaurs More thanmillion years ago, geological forces split apart the continents Isolated from each other, the two halves of the world developed radically different suites of plants and animals When Christopher Columbus set foot in the Americas, he ended that separation at a stroke Driven by the economic goal of establishing trade with China, he accidentally set off an ecological convulsion as European vessels carried thousands of species to new homes across the oceans The Columbian Exchange, as researchers call it, is the reason there are tomatoes in Italy, oranges in Florida, chocolates in Switzerland, and chili peppers in Thailand More important, creatures the colonists knew nothing about hitched along for the ride Earthworms, mosquitoes, and cockroaches honeybees, dandelions, and African grasses bacteria, fungi, and viruses rats of every description all of them rushed like eager tourists into lands that had never seen their like before, changing lives and landscapes across the planet Eight decades after Columbus, a Spaniard named Legazpi succeeded where Columbus had failed He sailed west to establish continual trade with China, then the richest, most powerful country in the world In Manila, a city Legazpi founded, silver from the Americas, mined by African and Indian slaves, was sold to Asians in return for silk for Europeans It was the first time that goods and people from every corner of the globe were connected in a single worldwide exchange Much as Columbus created a new world biologically, Legazpi and the Spanish empire he served created a new world economicallyAs Charles C Mann shows, the Columbian Exchange underlies much of subsequent human history Presenting the latest research by ecologists, anthropologists, archaeologists, and historians, Mann shows how the creation of this worldwide network of ecological and economic exchange fostered the rise of Europe, devastated imperial China, convulsed Africa, and for two centuries made Mexico City where Asia, Europe, and the new frontier of the Americas dynamically interacted the center of the world In such encounters, he uncovers the germ of today s fiercest political disputes, from immigration to trade policy to culture warsIn , Charles Mann gives us an eye opening scientific interpretation of our past, unequaled in its authority and fascination



10 thoughts on “1493: Uncovering the New World Columbus Created

  1. Mal Warwick Mal Warwick says:

    Chances are, you re aware that the potato originated in Peru and smallpox in Africa, and that both species crossed the Atlantic shortly after Columbus You probably know, too, that the potato later became a staple in many European countries and that


  2. Jason Koivu Jason Koivu says:

    1493 is all over the placeand that s a good thing Charles C Mann s follow up to his spectacular 1491 look at the pre Columbian Americas is quite an admirable undertaking Here he looks at the consequences of Columbus s voyages to the Americas For better and or for worse they had far reaching affects, especially biologically Mann s premise seems to state that Columbus was not a morally good man, but he should be recognized as bringing about the world s biological homogenization Though thi 1493 is all over the placeand that s a good thing Charles C Mann s follow up to his spectacular 1491 look at the pre Columbian Americas is quite an admirable undertaking Here he looks at the consequences of Columbus s voyages to the Americas For better and or for worse they had far reaching affects, especially biologically Mann s premise seems to state that Columbus was not a morally good man, but he should be recognized as bringing about the world s biological homogenization Though this is no murder mystery, I m going to refrain from giving examples, because that would spoil the fun of reading 1493.hmwell, that doesn t give me much else to talk about


  3. Tom Lichtenberg Tom Lichtenberg says:

    Human history no longer belongs to the twin poles of Eurocentricism, which either praise or damn European superiority or dominance, respectively One consequence of recent globalization and multiculturalism is a redress of the balance of the human story, one w


  4. Ana Mardoll Ana Mardoll says:

    1493 978 0307265722I really enjoyed Charles Mann s 1491, but after struggling to get through 1493, I m afraid to re read the first and find that my opinion may now be reversed.1491 was for me a wonderfully compiled and comprehensive look at the Americas before Columbus arrived and everything was inexorably changed I appreciated the information presented in the book, as well as the manner in which it was presented I was strongly affected by Mann s tone with that volume and how he seemed to 1493 978 0307265722I really enjoyed Charles Mann s 1491, but after struggling to get through 1493, I m afraid to re read the first and find that my opinion may now be reversed.1491 was for me a wonderfully compiled and comprehensive look at the Americas before Columbus arrived and everything was inexorably changed I appreciated the information presented in the book, as well as the manner in which it was presented I was strongly affected by Mann s tone with that volume and how he seemed to take a great deal of care in writing his narrative respectfully as well as engagingly and accurately We, the readers, may have been treading on the bones of history, but there was for me a sense that we were doing so with reverence 1493, on the other hand, seems to suffer from the success of the first We ll start with the title, which seems to imply that 1493 will be what 1491 was a comprehensive look at the Americas in that pivotal year, only instead of taking a snapshot immediately before Columbus arrival, we ll look at immediately after Unfortunately, this isn t really the case 1493 is about what Mann calls the Columbian Exchange , by which he means the fact that people, animals, plants, insects, microorganisms, etc were ferried all over the world by travelers like, but not limited to, Columbus into new ecosystems, where they wrought serious changes to the local ecology and economy.This isn t a bad thesis, and certainly there are a number of interesting facts here, but it means we re talking about a globe spanning topic with millions of individual unique examples, without any single narrative to really tie things firmly and interestingly together Perhaps the book would have worked better if it were limited to the Americas, as 1491 had been, and just looked at what the Europeans introduced into the American ecosystem and possibly a look at what the Europeans brought back from America with them That would have been acohesive narrative, I think, than trying to tie the African slave trade in the 1700s in with a look at the effects of sweet potatoes on Communist China in the 1900s Even if you re willing to stick with the narrative wherever it takes you and without being bored sometimes at the ratio of encyclopedic facts to engaging narrative there s additionally a huge tonal shift between this book and its predecessor, and for me at least this was a serious obstacle 1491 had a very respectful tone, and was very self aware of its own shortcomings Mann open acknowledged that he was something of a dilettante historian, and that he was only stepping forward with his book in order to fill a literary gap that he felt needed filling There were troubling untruths being told in service to the Columbus myth and he felt that the record needed to be set straight on certain issues.Yet here in 1493, it feels like Mann has shed his respectful demeanor and taken on a tone that seems terribly self aggrandizing Just to select from the first chapter alone, he spends a tremendous amount of time setting up a Golden Mean Fallacy some people claim THIS, other people claim THAT, but the truth is here in the middle This isn t necessary, it detracts from the narrative, and it pads the book out to a tedious length for no reason that I can see other than so Mann can pat himself on the back for being Right while others are Wrong rather than just getting to the meat of the subject matter Here is one quote where he handles different aspects of the Columbus myth Unsurprisingly, native people rarely endorse this view of their history, and Col n s part in it An army of activists and scholars has bombarded the public with condemnations of the man and his works They have called him brutal he was, by today s standards and racist he wasn t, strictly speaking modern concepts of race had not yet been invented incompetent as an administrator he was and as a seaman he wasn t a religious fanatic he surely was, from a secular point of view and a greedy monomaniac a charge, the admiral s supporters would say, that could be leveled against all ambitious souls Col n, his detractors charge, never understood what he had found I don t understand why Mann wants to bash on the people he sees as ideological opponents an army of activists Really , instead of just talking about Columbus from the ground up He would have been better served to do so, really, because this kind of summing up of the opposition seems so lazy as to make me worry about the scholarship of the rest of the book For instance, Columbus isn t called racist because his detractors mistakenly believe he subscribed to the same understanding of race as we do today they call him racist because he didn t have a problem with enslaving and casually genociding people who weren t sufficiently like himself to deserve his empathy They are, in other words, applying the term to his actions rather than to his supposed train of logic in service to those actions For Mann to pretend otherwise troubles me either he really doesn t understand Columbus detractors, or he does understand and he s deliberately misrepresenting them I find that a matter for concern Later, in the same chapter, Mann will casually dismiss local disapproval with the Columbus monument in Santo Domingo as nothingthan misplaced anger at dictator Rafael Trujillo, and will go so far as to lecture the residents on what they should consider the true meaning of the Columbus monument Residents of the walled off slums around the monument told reporters that they thought Col n deserved no commemoration at all A thesis of this book is that their belief, no matter how understandable, is mistaken The Columbian Exchange had such far reaching effects that some biologists now say that Col n s voyages marked the beginning of a new biological era the Homogenocene The term refers to homogenizing mixing unlike substances to create a uniform blend With the Columbian Exchange, places that were once ecologically distinct have becomealike In this sense the world has become one, exactly as the old admiral hoped The lighthouse in Santo Domingo should be regarded less as a celebration of the man who began it than a recognition of the world he almost accidentally created, the world of the Homogenocene we live in today So, just to be clear, Dominicans who regard the local monument to Columbus as a reprehensible commemoration to Columbus are wrong because they should view the monument as recognition of the fact that some people including, but not limited to, Columbus piloted a lot of different ships to a lot of different places over a lot of different time periods, and some of the results of those events are things like sweet potatoes and their effect on Communist China Clearly I wanted so much to like 1493 I expected to like it so much that even after receiving a free copy through Vine, I purchased an e book version as well so that I could have both I did this because I liked the scope, the cohesion, and the tone of 1491 immensely But the scope of 1493 is so vast as to be almost infinite, the narrative cohesion is non existent in places and is often abandoned in favor of lists of facts, and the tone seems to indicate that the author thinks he understands history better than anyone else, in the wake of one extremely popular and successful book Because of that, I personally did not find 1493 to be entertaining, enlightening, or respectful of the subject matter, and I really cannot recommend it NOTE This review is based on a free Advance Review Copy of this book provided throughVine Ana Mardoll


  5. Libby Libby says:

    Remember Fourth Grade Sister Mary Anne taught us to singsong Columbus sailed the ocean blue in fourteen hundred and ninety two Then we skipped to Jamestown in 1607 Did you ever get the feeling that we had missed a lot of something somewhere Well, boys and girls, we sur


  6. Nancy Nancy says:

    1493 Uncovering the New World Columbus Created explores what happened when the New World and Old World came into contact from an ecological, biological, and economic perspective The result is history not as made by kings and queens and generals, but by the potato, tobacco, the spice trade, and infectious disease Take this, for instance West Africans have an inherited immunity to malaria, the disease that beset early colonists and their indentured servants and then the native people of the Am 1493 Uncovering the New World Columbus Created explores what happened when the New World and Old World came into contact from an ecological, biological, and economic perspective The result is history not as made by kings and queens and generals, but by the potato, tobacco, the spice trade, and infectious disease Take this, for instance West Africans have an inherited immunity to malaria, the disease that beset early colonists and their indentured servants and then the native people of the Americas they originally enslaved to work the malarial ridden fields of sugarcane, tobacco, and rice So can we trace the institution of slavery in this country to a disease Mann argues persuasively that there is a connection, though he is quick to point out that it would be simplistic to say that malaria caused slavery, and is just as quick to say that slavery would have existed in the Americas without it And, of course, people being what they are unfortunately, greed and callousness are factors too, another point Mann makes Phew It s fascinating stuff, but it becomes something of a chore to get through, I m sorry to say, especially because I thought his book 1491 about the pre contact Americas was not only brilliant but very readable


  7. David David says:

    This fascinating, authoritative book describes the Columbian Exchange after Columbus discovery of the Americas The book describes the exchange of people, products, plants, animals, and micro organisms between the Americas and the rest of the world Much of the book discusses the


  8. Chungsoo J. Lee Chungsoo J. Lee says:

    The subtitle is noteworthy Uncovering the New World Columbus Created, not Discovered In arriving at the New World, Charles C Mann proposes, Columbus created a new world of globalization and modernization The author carries the readers through a breathtaking geological scope and time


  9. Thurston Thurston says:

    Both this and 1491 have given me a really vivid portrayal of the Americas before and after Columbus set sail and the world he inadvertently created.


  10. Susan (aka Just My Op) Susan (aka Just My Op) says:

    Absolutely fascinating Worms and parasites, slaves and masters, greed and commerce, tobacco and guano all have radically shaped today s world, and continue to do so The Columbian Exchange united, both for better and for worse, this earth in ways that Columbus could never have dreamed.The autho


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