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
I read this book a few years ago, and I loved it. I like listening to it because I picked up a few things that I didn't remember from my first read. It tells a great story about how the world became connected in ways I never knew before after Columbus hit the new world. The narrator is very very good, but maybe just a little stilted in his reading. Overall I recommend this book highly to those interested in history.
Fascinating material...and you can never go wrong with Robertson Dean.
What happened to the audible edition of Mann's prequel, 1491? It appears to no longer be available for sale through audible.com.
I like books when they are read... To me with different voices for all the characters... By a talented author. ~Haiku
It seems like the author said everything he had to say in the first book 1491 and cashed-in on this one... filling in the gaps with hyperbole and pretentious narrative.
read the dead tree of 1491 which is one of my favourite books ever. was excited to see this one available on audible. of course it would be impossible to duplicate the charms of the first, because the subject matter can only be drastically different.
interesting story of international politics and trade. being entirely unfamiliar with world events of this period aside from some basic of north america and europe myself, I found the details hard to follow, but that's my deficit, not the author's. I might try relistening sometime in an attempt to retain more information.
I have to say that I found the author's attitude toward indigenous people less sympathetic than in 1491. I'd be interested to know what the reason for this is. different editor? for example, be describes at length a mission into the Amazon by one of his ancestors as tragic because of the deaths of some Europeans, but does not seem to be as bothered by much greater losses of indigenous lives in the same time and place. if I didn't know better I wouldn't guess it was the same author as 1491. but these attitudes are tragically common and any reader interested in such histories will likely be used to disregarding these attitudes and reading between the lines, unfortunately. the stories contained here are worth looking past this fault.
Feel like I have been with Audible since the beginning, I listened to books about 2 hours a day and love each and every minute!
I think that 1493 is the best nonfiction book in my collection and my collection is 200+ titles. It intrigues the reader immediately and makes us question our narrow Western historical perspective. World historical context makes this book relevant and informative without the cultural bias that comes to too many historians.
The chapters on China and the effects of the Columbian Exchange were inspiring. The Ming dynasty topic was among my favourite.
I really like the choice in narration, it was never monotoned or boring, the reader gave inflection that pumped life into the material.
I was disarmed a bit by the views on colonization, the extent that the aboriginal and colonist relationship was examined, made me seriously rethink my prior stance.
Yes, this is a very informative book that covers many facets of the Colombian Exchange that effect us to this day. From the opening chapters discussing malaria to the silver trade with China and rubber plantations, I found this to be a page turner. A must read for anybody interested in economics, biology or just general history.
1491 - Read it if you like this one.
I have read this book and heard it on tape in my car. There reader generally does a quality job. I found him easy to listen to and he hit the right pace.
This is a scholarly work and I hesitate to use the term "moved you." However, the vivid historic imagery and interesting observations from the author do have a way of making you think about things that some might consider moving.
Charles Mann weaves a compelling narrative based on scientific historical evidence about the development of globalization following Christopher Columbus' rediscovery of the Americas. He focuses on the new diversity and unity of plant, animal, virus, and human life - using these facts to argue for a highly materialistic view of history. The narrative is compelling but cuts out many human elements often overlooked in such histories that attempt to be post-Western.
Yes, the contributions of Africans and the many tribes of pre-columbian and post-columbian "Indians" should not be overlooked - and this volume is excellent at bringing forth these oft overlooked events. It also rightly emphasizes China's economic woes at the time, which definitely had an impact on globalization. Nevertheless, Mann's neglect of "Western" ideas and institutions fundamentally weakens his account of globalization.
The book is narrated well, and a great study for those interested in the rise of globalization- it fills in gaps often left by more idea and institution focused accounts but should by no means be considered definitive.
Great account with many details of the post Columbus expedition. All those details are great in print but when read by Mr. Dean it gets a little tiresome. I decided to buy both the audio book and the print (author should be happy!), so I could look at the maps and photos, which are a very important part of the story. Mr. Dean needs to work on his pronunciation of Spanish words, but the audio editing is great. The book is very informative and with so many details, it's like an encyclopedia and it's difficult to follow only with the audio.
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