This is a fresh view of history and the legacy of European colonialism in the Americas
The global view of the issues with an eye on the current legacy and present effects
Dean is a great narrator. He well personifies the voice of authority
A living legacy of race and class discrimination
I would greatly recommend this book to students of history and social studies
E Fitz Smith
Loved the first book '1491.' From that point on - European desire for innovation and cash crops gradually infected the already busy shores of the new world. Metal weaponry or microscopic invaders - take your pick. They are among many variables that either hindered or bolstered victories for colonists and the original peoples alike in the slow burn that birthed the Americas as we know them today.The next time you eat a batch of McDonald's french fries know that you are ingesting a tuber cloned from a vine on an ancient Peruvian mountain side.And that tomatoes were considered poisonous berries.The narrative of this book is dry and factual - the way I like it. No tales of heroism. A blow by blow description of how the human races, dispersed across Pangea and upon their return, collided in their quest to live another day.I could not wait to get into my car each night and consume a new hour of revelations from '1493.' It is a global tale that can tell you everything about what our world is going through today.
The potato eaters observed llamas licking clay soil before they ate potato tubers to offset the toxins in those plants, classified as nightshades. So the humans followed suit in their eating of potatoes and dipped them in a sauce of clay.
Definitely and I already have recommended this book to a number of people.
The telling of the consequences of the Columbian Exchange, how the Americas and the rest of the world were profoundly affected by each other.
I haven't read the print version. It's good to have the print version around to refer back to the text when I'm recalling part of the book, but print is hard to read in the car. :)
The author did a great job tying together the history with his overlying concept regarding the flow of history once humanity globalized humans, cultures, plants, and animals.
No particular favorite scene. I enjoyed "cover to cover".
The book made me think. It caused me to change how I think about human history and how cultures clash, merge, change, thrive or die. It helped me understand how we became who we are.
Great book. I enjoyed it completely and will listen to it again. It might seem hard to get excited about history, but I did get excited listening to various parts of this book.
Great concept but the writing plods along and the monotonous narrator only made it worse. I abandon very few books but this one just didn't live up to the billing. The author wastes a lot of time listing the achievements and affiliations of everyone cited or quoted. He should have left it for the footnotes and focussed on bringing the story alive. I wouldn't be surprised to learn that this was a PhD thesis and if so, the book editor should have been more assertive about trimming the fat. I wondered at times what the content - such as the interminable description of Chinese commerce - had to do with the Columbian Exchange. If you like books of this nature, try Guns, Germs and Steel instead.
I would certainly listen to this again, but first I would order the preceding book, 1492, to get a better idea of the world that Columbus sailed into. I'd heard a podcast of an interview with Charles Mann on NPR and was attracted to the idea of learning about the transference of plants and diseases by Columbus and other early explorers. I didn't realize that the book would encompass in addition the effects of moving people from Africa, South American silver to China and the movement of people into North America. This books explores a much wider set of topics than I expected and I was fascinated to learn about so much that followed from the Columbian Exchange. I listened while on my morning walks and they became longer and longer as I listened with growing interest.
The narration by Dean added greatly to my enjoyment of this book because he sounded so interested himself. His inflections and pronunciation made everything he said very clear to me, even though I listened at 1.5x regular speed.
Hard to go wrong with this one if you are interested in the world around you anyhow it got that way.
An in depth account of human "progress" - the more things change the more they stay the same. Learning the far reaching impact of the Columbian exchange - fascinating and astounding.
The book itself is a wonderful read. Mann wove vast amount of information into captivating stories, detailing how human lives have forever been changed in almost every aspect since Columbus discovered the America. However, Robertson Dean's performance has a couple of flaws. His pronunciation of Chinese names is often inaccurate, and he inhaled really hard between sentences, making loud and annoying noise.
Learned more about the impact of trade on the American and Other continents than i ever imagined. The impact of the mosquito is amazing.
The Killing Mosquito and The Potato
Fascinating history of the ecological and biological effects of Christopher Columbus's travels and the world's first move toward the globalization and homogeneity we see today.