We are currently making improvements to the Audible site. In an effort to enhance the accessibility experience for our customers, we have created a page to more easily navigate the new experience, available at the web address www.audible.com/access.
 >   > 
1491 Audiobook

1491: New Revelations of the Americas Before Columbus

In this riveting, accessible work of science, Charles Mann takes us on an enthralling journey of scientific exploration. We learn that the Indian development of modern corn was one of the most complex feats of genetic engineering ever performed. That the Great Plains are a third smaller today than they were in 1700 because the Indians who maintained them by burning died. And that the Amazon rain forest may be largely a human artifact.
    • 1 audiobook per month
    • 180,000+ titles to choose from
    • $14.95 per month after free trial

Publisher's Summary

Based on the latest scientific findings, this breakthrough book argues that most of what we thought we knew about the Americas before Columbus was wrong.

In the last 20 years, archaeologists and anthropologists equipped with new scientific techniques have made far-reaching discoveries about the Americas. For example, Indians did not cross the Bering Strait 12,000 years ago, as most of us learned in school. They were already here. Their numbers were vast, not few. And instead of living lightly on the land, they managed it beautifully and left behind an enormous ecological legacy.

In this riveting, accessible work of science, Charles Mann takes us on an enthralling journey of scientific exploration. We learn that the Indian development of modern corn was one of the most complex feats of genetic engineering ever performed. That the Great Plains are a third smaller today than they were in 1700 because the Indians who maintained them by burning died. And that the Amazon rain forest may be largely a human artifact.

Compelling and eye-opening, this book has the potential to vastly alter our understanding of our history and change the course of today's environmental disputes.

©2005 Charles C. Mann; (P)2005 HighBridge Company

What the Critics Say

"Johnson renders this thoroughly researched, well-written history of early North and South American Indian populations in a strong, clear voice, with excellent intonation. His diction is almost too perfect." (Publishers Weekly)
"Mann's 1491 vividly compels us to re-examine how we teach the ancient history of the Americas and how we live with the environmental consequences of colonization." (The Washington Post Book World)

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.0 (1431 )
5 star
 (591)
4 star
 (485)
3 star
 (228)
2 star
 (83)
1 star
 (44)
Overall
4.1 (866 )
5 star
 (403)
4 star
 (278)
3 star
 (121)
2 star
 (39)
1 star
 (25)
Story
4.1 (858 )
5 star
 (336)
4 star
 (332)
3 star
 (139)
2 star
 (31)
1 star
 (20)
Performance
Sort by:
  •  
    Warwriter 1939 Providence, RI 05-05-12
    Warwriter 1939 Providence, RI 05-05-12

    Life's too short to read bad books.

    HELPFUL VOTES
    18
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    18
    10
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    2
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Disappointing"
    Any additional comments?

    I was looking for more about the North American Indian tribes, not just the Meso-American "civilizations".

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    msz 02-02-12
    msz 02-02-12 Listener Since 2009
    HELPFUL VOTES
    3
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    2
    2
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Mind oppener"
    Would you listen to 1491 again? Why?

    Excellent research and well documented makes a pleasure listening to this book. Having a kindle or written text helps as not to get lost in the names not familiar to most of us.


    What about Peter Johnson’s performance did you like?

    excellent


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Kari Pullman, WA, United States 01-23-12
    Kari Pullman, WA, United States 01-23-12 Member Since 2011
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    1
    1
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Very interesting but needs your full attention..."
    Any additional comments?

    Very interesting and loaded with information. I needed to place my full attention on this book in order to get all the details. I have the actual book as well, and found myself having to return to certain sections to re-read parts I had missed while listening. If you are interested in the topics covered in this book, I suggest buying a copy of the book as well. There many interesting graphics, maps, and charts in the book that really add to the overall experience of 1491.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    e davis 09-15-11
    e davis 09-15-11 Member Since 2016
    HELPFUL VOTES
    3
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    29
    10
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "jumbled, hard to follow"
    Any additional comments?

    The author is all over the place in a seemingly random manner both in time and in place. There is much discussion of art and such that has nothing to do with the subject matter. Almost none of the book is actually devoted to what was actually the scene in 1491

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Ryan B. 09-16-10
    Ryan B. 09-16-10 Member Since 2010
    HELPFUL VOTES
    24
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    23
    19
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    Overall
    "Good read"

    A good read and some pretty good information on the Amercan's and the Indian population before Columbus. Well written for the non-antrhopologists. No doubt the academia eggheads will nic pic and find fault with it...but it's very enlightening. The author avoids the political aspects of things...and just lays out the facts as known to us today.

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Brian Antelope, CA, USA 02-01-10
    Brian Antelope, CA, USA 02-01-10 Member Since 2013
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    3
    1
    Overall
    "Audible Kids?"

    Fairly good read, er listen, brought me up to speed on some of the "high counters" arguements. A charged argument, but aren't most in anthropology.
    I was a little concerned that I had got into a "picture book" level audiobook when the recording started with a pre-teen anouncing "audible kids". In the end, I did not think that it was a "kids" book or even a teens book unless the teen was advanced and had a desire to learn the subject matter.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Roy Beaumont, TX, United States 04-06-09
    Roy Beaumont, TX, United States 04-06-09 Member Since 2015
    HELPFUL VOTES
    1901
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    471
    273
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    537
    0
    Overall
    "Worthwhile for the Interested"

    Charles Mann has written an interesting book about what human civilization was like before Columbus. Much of this work, I understand, is necessarily speculative. However, the thorough work of Mann yields many insights worth the listening.

    Listeners will need to pay closer attention to some portions of the text than they might be inclinded to do with other audio books. This is a history and portions of the book are involved. In any even, the listen will reward the patient.

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Centaur1129 East Coast, US 08-31-06
    Centaur1129 East Coast, US 08-31-06 Member Since 2006

    Centaur1129

    HELPFUL VOTES
    29
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    80
    11
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    1
    0
    Overall
    "Excellently detailed"

    This book provides an insight not common in history books. A view point almost as if from someone who was there as events unfolded. Totally unbiased,totally entertaining, totally enlightening.
    A must-have for any complete library.

    2 of 4 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Donald Stratford, PE, Canada 04-09-06
    Donald Stratford, PE, Canada 04-09-06 Member Since 2002

    stephens1414

    HELPFUL VOTES
    58
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    123
    25
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    1
    0
    Overall
    "1491..."

    A great deal of interesting information...
    I wish it had been presented in a more digestible manner.
    Some reviewers loved it.
    I suspect they might be ardent students of the subject.
    For someone less involved but who wanted to be educated it is overwhelming and a disappointment.
    It would work much better as a read.

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    John Houston, TX, United States 02-12-06
    John Houston, TX, United States 02-12-06 Member Since 2003
    HELPFUL VOTES
    6
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    7
    5
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    Overall
    "Listen"

    Mann's point in this book is to bring to a wide readership the recent scholarship on the America's prior to Columbus. This is he does, and does well, and the reader is excellent. Still, this may be a book better read than listened to. Necessarily, the author ranges over a wide space both geographically and historically. The strangeness of names of places and people often made it difficult for this lay reader to follow complex passages.

    But I heard enough to know this is a worthy and serious book. What's impressive in the end is how much we still don't know, how impressive is the knowledge gained for this place and time over the last 50 years, and how much is argued over between scholars, Native Americans, and enthusiasts when consensus doesn't exist. An excellent account of a time long past that remains so much a mystery despite the excellent work of many in different fields of expertise.

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful

Report Inappropriate Content

If you find this review inappropriate and think it should be removed from our site, let us know. This report will be reviewed by Audible and we will take appropriate action.

Cancel

Thank you.

Your report has been received. It will be reviewed by Audible and we will take appropriate action.