1493 is not intended to be "the last word" or even non-controversial, as best as I can understand. It's something even better -1493 is an invitation to become astonished, question and explore, formulating your own conclusions. Any attempts to make sense of history long gone needs to make inspired leaps of imagination. Charles Mann provides a sumptuous feast of discoveries about "The New World". As few records and even populations remain, we need everyone's active engagement, teasing out possibilities. I love how it has captured my full attention. I care more about how the Columbian Exchange reshaped the planet and its civilizations, and have a far better understanding of the massive implications for our planet today.
I appreciate Charles Mann's scholarship and profound caring about those who came before us and the concerns we face now.
This is the first of Robertson Dean's performances I've heard, and I like it.
I listened to 1491 prior to this. Every bit as compelling, and just as highly recommended.
A fascinating book. Mann splays out his curiosity and inquisitiveness over 500 years of world history. I felt at times that he rambled and got a bit lost on tangents, but I understood and recongized his general thesis. I also thought he was fair in characterizing the consequences of the "homogenocene" and globalization. It has destroyed some environments and ways of living, but it has brought with it many benefits, and it has generally raised the standard of living for millions of humans. And whether we like it or not, it is inevitable.
Robertson Dean is a fine narrator. He has a pleasing voice.
A most interesting book about the rise of globalisation and how it has changed the world and humanity in the last 600 years.
Great book, it is about history, but it was told very well, and putting the events in context from different perspectives. Not only did I learn more about the history and the effects from that time period, it was very interesting and tough to put down. I have been recommending to everyone.
Great that he actually went to all the historical places he writes about. Wonderful historical overview and journalistic research made captivating due to good narration. Fitting performance and voice too!
Avid reader and listener, I enjoy history, popular science, suspense and legal thrillers with a dash of epic fantasy thrown in for flavor.
Mann wrote a fascinating tale connecting Spain and China through silver, maize, and malaria.
As a history lover, this book gave me a new appreciation of the significance of malaria to the Americas. I found this book enlightening and enjoyable.
A reader of biographies, history, and other non-fiction
After reading this author’s 1491 – a book on pre-Columbian America – I downloaded an unabridged audio of this volume. Again – a fascinating story of the world becoming intertwined, with people, plants and germs moving from one continent to another, with massive consequences for everyone involved and their descendants. Again – an utter lack of author’s self-control as he goes off on one tangent after another. Some of those digressions are quite interesting, for the example a long one on the Irish potato famine, but hey! – it was over 300 years after Columbus. Your book is not called ‘interesting stories I’ve heard that pop into my mind.’
To me, a great example of a book of this genre is The Fatal Shore: The Epic of Australia’s Founding. Robert Hughes moved his story forward at a good clip, with multiple vignettes quickly returning to the main channel. He pulled it off beautifully, while this author did not. I still recommend his book, just do not get it on audio because with a regular book it is easier to skip its huge number of irrelevant bits.
A truly wonderful book like "1493" deserves more: the reader should have checked the pronunciation of foreign names, for instance.
My reading and listening tastes are eclectic.
This is a very well read book. It is also informative and thought provoking. I loved listening to it and I learned a lot.