A groundbreaking study that radically alters our understanding of the Americas before the arrival of the Europeans in 1492....
Winner of the Pulitzer Prize, Guns, Germs and Steel examines the rise of civilization and the issues its development has raised throughout history....
In 1177 B.C., marauding groups known only as the "Sea Peoples" invaded Egypt. The pharaoh’s army and navy managed to defeat them, but the victory so weakened Egypt that it soon slid into decline....
The Doomsday Machine is Ellsberg's hair-raising insider's account of the most dangerous arms buildup in the history of civilization....
The World until Yesterday provides a mesmerizing firsthand picture of the human past as it had been for millions of years....
The author explores how climate change, the population explosion, and political discord create the conditions for the collapse of civilization....
It was on the Silk Roads that East and West first encountered each other through trade and conquest, leading to the spread of ideas, cultures, and religions....
A companion book for young listeners based on 1491: New Revelations of the Americas Before Columbus, the groundbreaking best seller by Charles C. Mann....
In their latest audiobook, Joe Kirschvink and Peter Ward will show that many of our most cherished beliefs about the evolution of life are wrong....
The Crusades is an authoritative, accessible single-volume history of the brutal struggle for the Holy Land in the Middle Ages....
Autumn of the Black Snake tells how the early republic battled the coalition of Indians that came closer than any adversary, before or since, to halting the nation's expansion....
In 1532, the 54-year-old Spanish conquistador Francisco Pizarro led a force of 167 men, including his four brothers, to the shores of Peru....
In 1528, a mission set out from Spain to colonize Florida. But the expedition went horribly wrong. Of the 300 men who had embarked on the journey, only four survived....
Appalachia - among the most storied and yet least understood regions in America - has long been associated with poverty and backwardness. But how did this image arise? Find out....
Jared Diamond explores how the extraordinary human animal, in a remarkably short time, developed the capacity to rule the world...and the means to irrevocably destroy it....
The Great Game between Victorian Britain and Tsarist Russia was fought across desolate terrain from the Caucasus to China, over the lonely passes of the Parmirs and Karakorams....
A landmark history - the sweeping story of the enslavement of tens of thousands of Indians across America, from the time of the conquistadors up to the early 20th century....
The past truly comes alive as you take a series of imaginative leaps into the world of history's anonymous citizens....
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.
Where does 1493 rank among all the audiobooks you???ve listened to so far?
This is the best book I've read all year. I've recomended it to friends and family and re-listened several times. We live in exciting times, and the fields of history and anthropology are constantly being challenged and changed as new discoveries are made. IMHO, Guns Germs and Steel set the gold standard for world history books. However, for the reasons I just mentioned, its important to keep up with emerging discoveries and new knowledge. I loved Mann's last book, 1491, for this reason. This book dramatically exceeds the previous work, no mean feat. For anyone interested in history, this is a MUST READ. Couldn't recomend more.
Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?
The chapters about colonial U.S. history were real eye-openers.
Any additional comments?
Not one to miss!
13 of 13 people found this review helpful
A modern updating of Crosby's classic The Columbian Exchange, Mann traces the biological, epidemiological, and agricultural impact of trade between Europe, Asia and the America's after 1493.
1493 is a book for fans of Pollan's Omnivore's Dilemma and Morris' Why the West Rules -- for Now.
If you like your history to be big, the scope to be wide, but to be tied into how you eat and pay your way in the world, then 1493 is probably perfect.
The last time I learned about the Columbian Exchange was in high school. Learning dates and the sequence of events, and getting familiar with maps and geography, was central to my high school history experience. As a history major in college the emphasis on maps, dates, and events diminished, as the work in primary sources came to the forefront.
I can't imagine 1493 will be much required in college history courses, as this type of historical narrative for a popular audience (written by a journalist and not a historian) probably does not conform to how postsecondary history is taught. This is perhaps too bad, as I just did not know most of the history of Columbian Exchange described in 1493.
Learning how to "do history", to work like historians, is probably not a bad thing. But most history undergraduate students will not go on to graduate school. A book like 1493, a book with strong opinions and lots of dates, geography, people and events, might be an example of the kind of works we should make room for in our history courses.
12 of 12 people found this review helpful
The thesis of this book is great and the first portion which focuses on ecology is really riveting. I get the sense that the author traveled down too many cultural and historical side roads and then ran out of time to tie his thesis into a nice, complete package for us towards the end. Starts off strong, wobbles, and then topples over like a top.
11 of 11 people found this review helpful
If you could sum up 1493 in three words, what would they be?
Changes your Worldview. Here is a lot of the dark matter that our school history texts never mentioned. Forget kings and statesmen; here are the real players: the lowly worm, the tiny bacteria, the odd plant, the parasite and a whole cast of greedy, stupid, and heroic humans all playing their gigantic parts in interweaving threads of change, growth and destruction. You will never view history the same after this. And you will talk about it until your friends either kill you or read it themselves.
What other book might you compare 1493 to and why?
1491- the same astonishing kind of information looking backwards from 1492. What was really here in the American Continent.
7 of 7 people found this review helpful
Really a remarkable book. Well written and very interesting delivery of information that could have been boring. Very thought provoking work about how the world changed after Columbus landed. The book touches on how disease shaped (mainly) the new world, how Spanish gold changed Europe and China (and the Philippines), new world crops fed (and the failed to feed) Europe, how those same crops changed food production in China, and how rubber is currently changing the far East. I will never think of history the same way. I can't say enough about this book. If you are at all interested in history, get it and listen now.
20 of 22 people found this review helpful
I have listened to a lot of history books on Audible, and I thought this would mostly cover ground I had heard before (in Guns, Germs, and Steel, for example). I was wrong.
To be fair, not all of the historical incidents themselves were entirely new, but the book managed to bring them together in a way that was a revelation. In one powerful section on Jamestown, for example, you see how alien the landscape was for Europeans arriving in Virginia - they couldn't even recognize tended fields, because they looked so different than European fields. And, in return, by bringing earthworms, draft animals, and malaria, the Europeans create an entirely different ecosystem themselves which destroys or merges with the American one. The idea of settlers transforming a landscape so utterly feels like a science fiction trope, but the historical account is excellent, here, as it is throughout the book.
Similarly fascinating are accounts of the way that Spanish silver destabilized China, the potato's role in European history, and the attempts to start a Confederate state in the Amazon. The history is not always pleasant, but it terrifically described. Along the way, Mann makes an argument that, since 1493, we are living in a new world, the Homogenocene, shaped by humans and globalization.
There are only a couple of minor caveats. First, the author works hard to make sure his views on the Colombian Exchange are asserted, and he overreaches occasionally in trying to tie much of world history to the Exchange. This is forgivable, but can make some sections feel like a bit of a stretch. Also, the reading is solid, but not terrific.
Reading reviews by historians, this seems to be well-regarded work, even though it wasn't by a historian. It is definitely gripping and occasionally revelatory. I recommend it very highly to those who like their history sweeping.
12 of 13 people found this review helpful
Pesos in Germany, the mini ice age, Chinese barbers and Samurai soldiers in Brazil... oh my. I thought that I knew enough about Columbus but there is so much more to this story.
Certain parts of this book are more factually dense than other parts and this may seem boring at first but, as you listen these facts will be revisited and explained in vivid detail.
If you are curious about world history, global economics, potatoes and plastic then add this book to your list.
5 of 5 people found this review helpful
If you could sum up 1493 in three words, what would they be?
Everything is connected
What was one of the most memorable moments of 1493?
Trying to increase potato harvests was probably the very thing that caused the famine.
Which scene was your favorite?
When most farmers decided to grow tobacco instead of food.
If you were to make a film of this book, what would be the tag line be?
The day everything changed.
Any additional comments?
Basically this book shows how the smallest changes can lead to world altering consequences. As in accidentally bringing Malaria to the Americas lead to slavery of mainly Africans and why only in the south. It also shows that short term solutions are often the worst option in the long run. It shows how actual events in our past have lead to where we are today and some of the challenges they have left us with. No matter your field there is something in this book that touches on it and will make you look outside your field for factors you make have not considered before.
5 of 5 people found this review helpful
Jamestown like you never thought of it before, a sweeping look at how plants, animals and people change the world and make history. If school taught history as well as this book does i would have loved the class instead of dreading it.
16 of 18 people found this review helpful
I'm a junky for this kind of stuff, and after reading 1491 a few years back, I instantly bought 1493 when I saw it. Charles C Mann has an incredible knack for finding facts that are not only fascinating, but tell a story extremely well.
While 1491 focused in the Americas before Columbus, 1493 focuses on "the Columbian exchange". Basically the beginning of globalization. The connecting of two worlds and the profound impact it had on both hemispheres. Full of well done analysis, and enough amazing factoids to impress your friends at parties, this book is pure gold and Spanish silver, with Inca potatoes, and tomatoes on top, wrapped in a maize tortilla, seasoned with some Peruvian seabird guano. Delicious!
Top notch narration, too.
3 of 3 people found this review helpful
Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?
I have a PhD in history yet the ideas expressed in this work are entirely new to me and challenge much of my previous understanding of the history of globalization. Not only are these ideas plausible but they also force us to rethink much of what we thought we knew. The author Charles Mann builds upon the works of others to synthesize a very accessible and insightful book. I found that narration was also of a very high standard and complimented the work well.
What other book might you compare 1493 to, and why?
Guns, Germs and Steel. Jared Diamond.
2 of 2 people found this review helpful