Mann has applied his journalistic skills in the research and development of a comprehensive narrative that a broad seqment of readers will find accessible and enjoyable. Drawing from updated scholarly perspectives in multiple disciplines, Mann highlights events, trends, and reasonable probability to frame the complex global network that has been the foundation of the modern era. If you have any expertise or interest in history, epidemiology, economics, anthropology, agriculture, cultural studies, to name a few, you cannot help but to marvel at the connections that Mann brings into the daylight, many of which have been shamefully neglected or obscured in the writing of 20th Century history books.
Mann pulls along a basic subtext, which seems to pose the question to anyone who opines for the "good old days" before the introduction of non-native species into domestic ecosystems, global trade, and ethnic migration and integration (basically many of the major political complaints and anti-globalization arguments of the late 20th and early 21st Centuries): how far back would we have to turn the clock to achieve a virgin status for these issues. Of course, the answer is at least 500+ years. More to the point, our preconceived notions of what virgin status even means has been shaped largely by ignorance and national/political interests than anything else. Mann also addresses the issues at about the 500 ft. level of granularity, so that the narrative does not get bogged down by footnotes and citations; nor does it run the risk of being derailed by the inaccuracies of a few details (I am not aware of any).
Dean's narrative is laid-back and evenly paced. Pronunciation of specific terms or names may momentarily raise eyebrows. But, then consider that somebody somewhere probably adheres to some of those pronunciations.
The history of the last 500 years as you've never heard it before.
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