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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

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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Story

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  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story
  • Anya Y
  • Scarborough, Ontario Canada
  • 09-03-12

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.

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  • Meyer
  • Macon, GA, United States
  • 08-27-12

I did not Know that!

Would you consider the audio edition of 1493 to be better than the print version?

Learned more about the impact of trade on the American and Other continents than i ever imagined. The impact of the mosquito is amazing.

What did you like best about this story?

Information

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

The Killing Mosquito and The Potato

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  • Martha
  • Inverness, CA, United States
  • 08-20-12

Fascinating, well researched, well read history

If you could sum up 1493 in three words, what would they be?

Fascinating history of the ecological and biological effects of Christopher Columbus's travels and the world's first move toward the globalization and homogeneity we see today.

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  • Aliza
  • Rural New Hampshire
  • 08-06-12

Provocative and invigorating

What made the experience of listening to 1493 the most enjoyable?

1493 is not intended to be "the last word" or even non-controversial, as best as I can understand. It's something even better -1493 is an invitation to become astonished, question and explore, formulating your own conclusions. Any attempts to make sense of history long gone needs to make inspired leaps of imagination. Charles Mann provides a sumptuous feast of discoveries about "The New World". As few records and even populations remain, we need everyone's active engagement, teasing out possibilities. I love how it has captured my full attention. I care more about how the Columbian Exchange reshaped the planet and its civilizations, and have a far better understanding of the massive implications for our planet today.

What did you like best about this story?

I appreciate Charles Mann's scholarship and profound caring about those who came before us and the concerns we face now.

Have you listened to any of Robertson Dean’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

This is the first of Robertson Dean's performances I've heard, and I like it.

Any additional comments?

I listened to 1491 prior to this. Every bit as compelling, and just as highly recommended.

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500 years of rollicking world history

A fascinating book. Mann splays out his curiosity and inquisitiveness over 500 years of world history. I felt at times that he rambled and got a bit lost on tangents, but I understood and recongized his general thesis. I also thought he was fair in characterizing the consequences of the "homogenocene" and globalization. It has destroyed some environments and ways of living, but it has brought with it many benefits, and it has generally raised the standard of living for millions of humans. And whether we like it or not, it is inevitable.

Robertson Dean is a fine narrator. He has a pleasing voice.

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If you like Jared Diamond, this is for you

What made the experience of listening to 1493 the most enjoyable?

A most interesting book about the rise of globalisation and how it has changed the world and humanity in the last 600 years.

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  • Cindy
  • Olympia, Wa
  • 01-10-12

Excellent book

What did you love best about 1493?

Great book, it is about history, but it was told very well, and putting the events in context from different perspectives. Not only did I learn more about the history and the effects from that time period, it was very interesting and tough to put down. I have been recommending to everyone.

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  • Robin
  • Bonn, Germany
  • 12-14-11

Entertaining! Filled many gaps in my understanding

What did you love best about 1493?

Great that he actually went to all the historical places he writes about. Wonderful historical overview and journalistic research made captivating due to good narration. Fitting performance and voice too!

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A sweeping view of the columbine exchange

Mann wrote a fascinating tale connecting Spain and China through silver, maize, and malaria.
As a history lover, this book gave me a new appreciation of the significance of malaria to the Americas. I found this book enlightening and enjoyable.

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Great new perspective for the history buff

Love it. 'Read' it twice. Wonderful new slant on how the world got here.