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1491: New Revelations of the Americas Before Columbus

por Charles C. Mann

Outros autores: Ver a secção outros autores.

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7,2701961,258 (4.16)1 / 270
History. Nature. Nonfiction. HTML:

NATIONAL BESTSELLER ? A groundbreaking work of science, history, and archaeology that radically alters our understanding of the Americas before the arrival of Columbus in 1492??from ??a remarkably engaging writer? (The New York Times Book Review).
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Contrary to what so many Americans learn in school, the pre-Columbian Indians were not sparsely settled in a pristine wilderness; rather, there were huge numbers of Indians who actively molded and influenced the land around them. The astonishing Aztec capital of Tenochtitlan had running water and immaculately clean streets, and was larger than any contemporary European city. Mexican cultures created corn in a specialized breeding process that it has been called man??s first feat of genetic engineering. Indeed, Indians were not living lightly on the land but were landscaping and manipulating their world in ways that we are only now beginning to understand. Challenging and surprising, this a transformative new look at a rich and fascinating world we only though… (mais)

  1. 82
    Guns, Germs, and Steel: The Fates of Human Societies por Jared Diamond (electronicmemory)
  2. 30
    1493: Uncovering the New World Columbus Created por Charles C. Mann (electronicmemory)
  3. 10
    From Dawn to Decadence: 1500 to the Present: 500 Years of Western Cultural Life por Jacques Barzun (BookshelfMonstrosity)
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    Paradise Found: Nature in America at the Time of Discovery por Steve Nicholls (nsblumenfeld)
    nsblumenfeld: Nicholls' magnificent interdisciplinary account delves into ecology and history to explore the nature of American ecology at the time of discovery and how and why it has changed since. If you're interested in understanding the foundations on which America has been built you could do far worse than checking out this book.… (mais)
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    Champlain's Dream por David Hackett Fischer (Serviette)
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    A Voyage Long and Strange: Rediscovering the New World por Tony Horwitz (Othemts)
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    Clash of Eagles (The Clash of Eagles Trilogy) por Alan Smale (mollishka)
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    The Smallpox Genocide of the Odawa Tribe at L'Arbre Croche, 1763: The History of a Native American People por Constance Cappel (Utilizador anónimo)
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    The History of White People por Nell Irvin Painter (electronicmemory)
    electronicmemory: While The History of White People is the more scholarly of the two works, both are engaging, thoughtful explorations of commonly held beliefs and misunderstandings of history in American culture.
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    Ecological Imperialism: The Biological Expansion of Europe, 900-1900 por Alfred W. Crosby (atrautz)
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 Dewey Decimal Challenge: 14914 não lido / 4JBGUSA, Março 2013

» Ver também 270 menções

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Mostrando 1-5 de 196 (seguinte | mostrar todos)
There are enough engrossing passages in this to keep you going but it frequently bogs down in nitty arguments between archaeologists that no one but themselves could possibly care about. I learned a hell of a lot though, so it was worth it. ( )
  gonzocc | Mar 31, 2024 |
A must for anyone interested in American anthropology. It emphasizes the control exerted over the environment by early Americans. I particularly enjoyed the chapter on the changes in fauna, though it was too short. The appendices were all very interesting as well ( )
  cspiwak | Mar 6, 2024 |
(2005) Fair discourse on what the Americas were like before Columbus ?discovered? it. Kirkus:Unless you're an anthropologist, it's likely that everything you know about American prehistory is wrong. Science journalist Mann's survey of the current knowledge is a bracing corrective.Historians once thought that prehistoric Indian peoples somehow lived outside of history, adrift and directionless, ?passive recipients of whatever windfalls or disasters happenstance put in their way?; that view was central to the myth of the noble savage. In fact, writes Mann (Noah's Choice, with Mark L. Plummer, 1995), Native Americans were as active in shaping their environments as anyone else. They built great and wealthy cities; they lived, for the most part, on farms; and their home continents ?were immeasurably busier, more diverse, and more populous than researchers had previously imagined.? In defending this view, Mann visits several thriving controversies in the historic/prehistoric record. One is the question of pre-contact demographics: old-school scholars had long advanced the idea that there were only a few million Native Americans at the time of the Columbian arrival, whereas revisionists in the 1960s posited that there were eight million on the island of Hispaniola alone, a figure punctured by revisionists of revisionism, now beset by Native American activists for the political incorrectness of adjusting the census. Another controversy is the chronology of human presence in the Americas: the old date of 12,000 b.c., courtesy of the Bering Land Bridge in Alaska, no longer cuts it. Other arguments center on the nature of Native American societies such as the Aztec and Inca, the latter of whom built a great empire that, defying Western notions of logic, had no market component. Mann addresses each controversy with care, according the old-timers their due while making it clear that his sympathies lie, in the main, with the rising generation. He closes with a provocative thesis: namely, that the present worldwide movement toward democracy owes not to Locke or Newtonian physics, but to Indians, ?living, breathing role models of human liberty.?An excellent, and highly accessible, survey of America's past: a worthy companion to Jake Page's In the Hands of the Great Spirit (2003).Pub Date: Aug. 12, 2005ISBN: 1-4000-4006-XPage Count: 480Publisher: KnopfReview Posted Online: May 20, 2010Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 1, 2005
  derailer | Jan 25, 2024 |
Charles C. Mann heeft met 1491 een toegankelijk boek geschreven over de ontdekking van precolumbiaans Amerika. Daarin staan toch wel een aantal eyeopeners die voor wetenschappers niet nieuw zijn, maar waar ik nog nooit zo bij stil had gestaan (voor zover ik überhaupt stil sta bij precolumbiaans Amerika natuurlijk).

Dit boek beschrijft de drie terreinen waarop belangrijke vondsten zijn gedaan om de wereld van voor Columbus te schetsen; de demografie, de oorsprong en de ecologie van de indianen. Daarbij wordt er toch behoorlijk wat aandacht besteed aan het leven nà Columbus. Dat klinkt paradoxaal, maar dat heeft twee redenen. De eerste is dat veel indiaanse culturen geen schrift kenden en veel is opgetekend in de kronieken van de eerste Europeanen. De tweede is dat de ontmoeting tussen Europa en Amerika een openbaring was voor beide kanten.Vaak kwamen aspecten van samenlevingen naar voren die anders verborgen zouden zijn gebleven.

Als uitgangspunt van dit boek haalt Mann ‘Holmbergs vergissing’ aan. Het idee van de antropoloog Alan Holmberg was dat de vroegste stammen in Amerika duizenden jaren hebben geleefd zonder hun sporen in het landschap achter te laten. Tot de Europeanen arriveerden en toen werd alles anders. Het is het beeld van de edele wilde in een ongerepte wildernis wiens wereld wij Europeanen ruw verstoord hebben.

Dat beeld gaat in dit boek volledig op de schop. Als voorbeeld haalt Mann de Boliviaanse provincie Beni aan. De helft van het jaar is die provincie bedekt met water, maar er zijn overal wel eilanden die begroeid zijn met bomen. Vanuit de lucht is zichtbaar dat die eilanden met elkaar verbonden zijn door kaarsrechte dijken. Dat laat meteen een ander licht schijnen op de eenzame indiaan;

Volgens Erickson legden de indianen die hier vóór Columbus leefden niet alleen wegen, kanalen, dijken, reservoirs, heuvels en mogelijk ook balspelvelden aan, maar zij vingen ook vis op de ondergelopen vlakte. En het ging hier niet om een paar indianen met een netje, maar om een industrie waar de hele samenleving bij betrokken was. Honderden, mogelijk duizenden mensen bouwden zigzag lopende netwerken van dammetjes van klei, zogenaamde ‘visweren’, langs de verhoogde wegen.

Het mag bekend zijn dat de Spanjaarden en Portugezen zich niet van hun beste kant lieten zien in hun veroveringsdrang. Ze hebben hele beschavingen weggevaagd. Dit boek laat zien dat de beschavingen wellicht vele malen groter waren geweest dan de aantallen die de Europeanen aantroffen. Er zijn verschillende epidemieën over het continent geraasd voordat men ook maar één Europeaan had gezien. Die ziektes hebben hele bevolkingen gedecimeerd en de Europeanen brachten ook virussen mee die dezelfde oefening nog eens herhaalden. Er zijn meer indianen omgekomen door ziektes dan door het zwaard en het geweer. Let wel, het is een theorie die ook tegenstanders kent maar dat wordt allemaal uitgelegd.

Mann voert ons langs verschillende volken als de Azteken (wat feitelijk drie volken zijn), De Maya’s, de Inca’s en de Olmeken. Hij laat zien dat het hoogwaardige beschavingen zijn met een rijke cultuur. Hij verblijft niet alleen in Midden- en Zuid-Amerika, maar beschrijft ook de indianen van Noord-Amerika en de polaire bewoners van Canada. Ergens moeten al die mensen toch vandaan zijn gekomen en wat te denken van het feit dat na DNA-onderzoek blijkt dat indianen uit Brazilië dezelfde voorouders hebben als mensen uit Siberië.

Ook dat is iets wat beschreven wordt, hoe de inwoners vanuit andere werelddelen Amerika zijn binnengekomen en naar het zuiden zijn afgezakt. Toch is veel nog onduidelijk over wanneer dat is gebeurd. Er zijn artefacten gevonden in Clovis, New Mexico van 10.000 jaar oud, maar niet de bijbehorende mensen;

In Europa hebben archeologen tientallen skeletten van 10.000 jaar en ouder gevonden. Maar in Noord-Amerika zijn maar negen complete skeletten van vergelijkbare ouderdom aangetroffen. ‘Het is een groot mysterie waarom we de graven niet vinden,’ zei James Petersen, archeoloog aan de University of Vermont, me. ‘Er zijn indianen die je zullen vertellen dat hun doden allemaal naar een spiritueel vlak zijn opgestegen, en een beter antwoord hebben wij ook niet.’

Ik vind het interessante materie en het gaat nog veel verder. Wij denken graag aan de regenwouden in het Amazonegebied als de laatste stukken ongerepte natuur waarop wij natuurlijk zeer zuinig moeten zijn. Dit boek laat zien dat het ongerepte imago maar ten dele klopt.

Eind jaren zeventig werden namelijk op ontgonnen delen (lees: weggekapte bomen) allerlei geometrische patronen ontdekt die door mensen gemaakt moeten zijn. Des te meer er ontbost werd, des te meer patronen er vrij kwamen. Die kunnen niet aangelegd worden in bebost gebied, dus de grote wouden in het westelijk Amazonegebied kunnen er vroeger wel eens heel anders uit hebben gezien. Bovendien weten we niets over de mensen die de patronen, zogenaamde geogliefen, hebben aangelegd. Dat moet, gelet op de omvang en de vele aantallen, een enorm werk zijn geweest en er hebben dus ooit veel mensen gewoond. Ruwweg 12% van het Amazonegebied is ontstaan door menselijk ingrijpen, zo is de gedachte.

Zo staat dit boek vol met onderzoeken die een beeld geven van precolumbiaans Amerika, maar waaruit ook blijkt dat we nog veel meer niet weten. Enige humor wordt ook niet geschuwd, zoals wanneer de Taino de Europese indringers als goddelijk beschouwen en deze dat niet gaan ontkennen;

Tijdens zijn latere reizen aanvaardden zijn mannen hun goddelijkheid maar al te graag – totdat de Taino deze veronderstelde kwaliteit aan empirisch onderzoek gingen onderwerpen en de hoofden van de Spanjaarden lang onder water hielden om te zien of de Spanjaarden net als de goden onsterfelijk waren.

Mann voegt achterin het boek wat appendices toe waarin hij nader ingaat op beladen terminologie, een 3D-handschrift met behulp van knopen, syfilis en het gebruik van de kalenders. Het boek is natuurlijk een opmaat voor het vervolg dat Mann geschreven heeft met de titel 1493; hoe de wereld zich ontwikkelde na de ontdekking van Amerika.

Vertaling: Nieuw Amsterdam Uitgevers ( )
  Koen1 | Dec 22, 2023 |
Really, really good. i can't pretend i could assess the quality of the history - although it certainly seems well researched and cited - but it's eye opening about the complexity of politics and human organisation and agriculture etc in the Americas before European invasion. goes through biology, anthropology, archaeology and history to talk about things like native American ways of maintaining land for food - showing up the falsity of the pristine wilderness myth- and the complex political interactions which helped European dominance in the early days. the European invasion is only talked about a little bit but as part of an attempt to restore history to native Americans - the invasion wasn't something that just happened, it was something that
different societies responded to in different ways and fought from the start while sometimes collaborating to win influence over their own enemies. he emphasises that many of the groups that were studied as proof of native American "noble savage" nature were the remnants of larger cultures ravaged by disease and attacked constantly by Europeans - this was not their "natural" state

i could quibble a bit over his politics (not radical enough and the coda is very American patriot, although he voices his support for returning native lands on a large scale - also feel he could maybe quote modern Indians more) and if i knew more about the subject I'm sure i could criticise more but for me it was a fascinating, perspective changing book about something i didn't know enough about. can only be seen as an introduction because of the scope of the subject, but gives you an idea of just how much history there is and tells you enough to make you rethink assumptions ( )
  tombomp | Oct 31, 2023 |
Mostrando 1-5 de 196 (seguinte | mostrar todos)
Mann has written an impressive and highly readable book. Even though one can disagree with some of his inferences from the data, he does give both sides of the most important arguments. 1491 is a fitting tribute to those Indians, present and past, whose cause he is championing.
adicionada por Serviette | editarAmerican Scientist, Micheal Coe (Apr 5, 2013)
 
Mann has chronicled an important shift in our vision of world development, one our young children could end up studying in their textbooks when they reach junior high.

 
Mann does not present his thesis as an argument for unrestrained development. It is an argument, though, for human management of natural lands and against what he calls the "ecological nihilism" of insisting that forests be wholly untouched.
adicionada por Serviette | editarThe Seattle Times, Bruce Ramsey (Sep 12, 2005)
 
Mann's style is journalistic, employing the vivid (and sometimes mixed) metaphors of popular science writing: "Peru is the cow-catcher on the train of continental drift. . . . its coastline hits the ocean floor and crumples up like a carpet shoved into a chairleg." Similarly, the book is not a comprehensive history, but a series of reporter's tales: He describes personal encounters with scientists in their labs, archaeologists at their digs, historians in their studies and Indian activists in their frustrations. Readers vicariously share Mann's exposure to fire ants and the tension as his guide's plane runs low on fuel over Mayan ruins. These episodes introduce readers to the debates between older and newer scholars. Initially fresh, the journalistic approach eventually falters as his disorganized narrative rambles forward and backward through the centuries and across vast continents and back again, producing repetition and contradiction. The resulting blur unwittingly conveys a new sort of the old timelessness that Mann so wisely wishes to defeat.
adicionada por Serviette | editarThe Washington Post, Alan Taylor (Sep 7, 2005)
 

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History. Nature. Nonfiction. HTML:

NATIONAL BESTSELLER ? A groundbreaking work of science, history, and archaeology that radically alters our understanding of the Americas before the arrival of Columbus in 1492??from ??a remarkably engaging writer? (The New York Times Book Review).
 
Contrary to what so many Americans learn in school, the pre-Columbian Indians were not sparsely settled in a pristine wilderness; rather, there were huge numbers of Indians who actively molded and influenced the land around them. The astonishing Aztec capital of Tenochtitlan had running water and immaculately clean streets, and was larger than any contemporary European city. Mexican cultures created corn in a specialized breeding process that it has been called man??s first feat of genetic engineering. Indeed, Indians were not living lightly on the land but were landscaping and manipulating their world in ways that we are only now beginning to understand. Challenging and surprising, this a transformative new look at a rich and fascinating world we only though

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