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1493: Uncovering the New World Columbus Created | [Charles C. Mann]

1493: Uncovering the New World Columbus Created

More than 200 million years ago, geological forces split apart the continents. Isolated from each other, the two halves of the world developed totally different suites of plants and animals. Columbus’s voyages brought them back together - and marked the beginning of an extraordinary exchange of flora and fauna between Eurasia and the Americas. As Charles Mann shows, this global ecological tumult - the “Columbian Exchange” - underlies much of subsequent human history. Presenting the latest generation of research by scientists, Mann shows the creation a worldwide trade network....
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Publisher's Summary

From the author of 1491 - the best-selling study of the pre-Columbian Americas - a deeply engaging new history that explores the most momentous biological event since the death of the dinosaurs.

More than 200 million years ago, geological forces split apart the continents. Isolated from each other, the two halves of the world developed totally different suites of plants and animals. Columbus’s voyages brought them back together - and marked the beginning of an extraordinary exchange of flora and fauna between Eurasia and the Americas. As Charles Mann shows, this global ecological tumult - the “Columbian Exchange” - underlies much of subsequent human history. Presenting the latest generation of research by scientists, Mann shows how the creation of this worldwide network of exchange fostered the rise of Europe, devastated imperial China, convulsed Africa, and for two centuries made Manila and Mexico City - where Asia, Europe, and the new frontier of the Americas dynamically interacted - the center of the world.

In 1493, Charles Mann gives us an eye-opening scientific interpretation of our past, unequaled in its authority and fascination.

©2011 Charles C. Mann (P)2011 Random House Audio

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  •  
    matthew san diego, CA, United States 03-30-13
    matthew san diego, CA, United States 03-30-13 Member Since 2008

    I am an English teacher in China and can now read and write some Chinese.I have been to 13 countries on 4 continents.I am an avid audiophile

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    "The history of man's inventions"

    This is a great way to begin to grasp where things in the modern world have come from.Things we take for granted now.Sugar,rubber,silver and tobacco are all talked about extensively.I could begin to see why Europe still has the highest valued money in the world.They stole labor from Africa,and the America's.When things got too messy England cut its losses and simply left America to find its own way.They had brought over many slaves and the slaves and indigenous people outnumbered their overseers.Furthermore,they worked together and found solutions their European oppressors couldn't see due to greedy expansion and competition.My interest is peaked enough that I want to hear the predecessor to this book 1491 in the future.You could also have a look at 1421,which provides a Chinese perspective on history that is very different than what we were fed in school.It postulates that the Chinese may have arrived long before Columbus.Columbus used the maps from the Chinese to discover America.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Todd CARY, NC, United States 12-22-12
    Todd CARY, NC, United States 12-22-12 Member Since 2011
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    "Journalistic Genius Behind a Compelling Narrative"
    What made the experience of listening to 1493 the most enjoyable?

    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.


    What did you like best about this story?

    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).


    What does Robertson Dean bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

    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.


    If you were to make a film of this book, what would be the tag line be?

    The history of the last 500 years as you've never heard it before.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Amazon Customer San Francisco, CA, United States 12-06-12
    Amazon Customer San Francisco, CA, United States 12-06-12 Member Since 2011
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    "Great book!"
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    This is a fresh view of history and the legacy of European colonialism in the Americas


    What did you like best about this story?

    The global view of the issues with an eye on the current legacy and present effects


    Which character – as performed by Robertson Dean – was your favorite?

    Dean is a great narrator. He well personifies the voice of authority


    If you were to make a film of this book, what would be the tag line be?

    A living legacy of race and class discrimination


    Any additional comments?

    I would greatly recommend this book to students of history and social studies

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    E. Fitz Smith New York Metro sprawl 09-30-12
    E. Fitz Smith New York Metro sprawl 09-30-12

    E Fitz Smith

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    "The 'Old World' - when it was just new"
    Where does 1493 rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

    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.


    Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

    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.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Bill Pensacola, FL, United States 09-26-12
    Bill Pensacola, FL, United States 09-26-12 Member Since 2010
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    "Riveting history"
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    Definitely and I already have recommended this book to a number of people.


    What did you like best about this story?

    The telling of the consequences of the Columbian Exchange, how the Americas and the rest of the world were profoundly affected by each other.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Daniel Vancouver, WA, United States 09-18-12
    Daniel Vancouver, WA, United States 09-18-12 Member Since 2011
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    "Thoughtful and Transformative"
    Would you consider the audio edition of 1493 to be better than the print version?

    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. :)


    What did you like best about this story?

    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.


    Which scene was your favorite?

    No particular favorite scene. I enjoyed "cover to cover".


    Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

    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.


    Any additional comments?

    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.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Peter Guelph, Ontario, Canada 09-17-12
    Peter Guelph, Ontario, Canada 09-17-12
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    "Had to abandon ship"
    What disappointed you about 1493?

    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.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Kathleen Littleton, CO, United States 09-14-12
    Kathleen Littleton, CO, United States 09-14-12
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    "A Lot More Than I Anticipated"
    Would you listen to 1493 again? Why?

    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.


    What does Robertson Dean bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

    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.


    Any additional comments?

    Hard to go wrong with this one if you are interested in the world around you anyhow it got that way.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Susan Afton, VA, United States 09-10-12
    Susan Afton, VA, United States 09-10-12 Member Since 2010
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    "Fascinating and dense with info"
    Any additional comments?

    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.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Anya Y Scarborough, Ontario Canada 09-03-12
    Anya Y Scarborough, Ontario Canada 09-03-12 Member Since 2012
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    "Fabulous book, so so performance"

    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.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
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