The book, 1491: New Revelations of the Americas Before Columbus, by Charles C. Mann is a scientific and engineering look at the pre-Columbian history of the Americas. Drawing on archeological findings and oral histories from native peoples, Mann paints a picture of immense complexity and sophistication among American cultures before European contact. He argues that many present-day beliefs about these cultures – such as their lack of agriculture or technology – are wrong, and offers an eye-opening view into a lost world.
For who is this book for ?
Mann’s book is for anyone interested in the history of the Americas – from general readers to those with backgrounds in science or engineering. He weaves together archeological evidence and oral histories to create a compelling picture of a sophisticated pre-Columbian world, overturning many common misconceptions along the way.
- Provides a fresh perspective on pre-Columbian America
- Well researched and extensively sourced
- Engaging and entertaining writing style
- The book is dense and detailed, which may make it difficult for some readers to follow.
- It can be challenging to separate fact from conjecture in Mann’s argument.
- Some of the more speculative ideas presented in the book may be difficult to accept at face value.
Learn more about the author
Charles C. Mann is a correspondent for Science and author of 1491: New Revelations of the Americas Before Columbus, which was on The New York Times bestseller list for 10 weeks and won the nonfiction Book Sense award. His previous book was Ingenious People: How European Genius Shaped American Life. Mann has also written for Outside, Wired, Atlantic Monthly, Harper’s Magazine, Slate, National Geographic Traveler magazine as well as Corante’s Gastronomica and Longform Selects (where he is an editor). He serves on the board of advisors for Simons Foundation Autism Research Initiative (SFARI) at MIT.
“1491 is a groundbreaking book that should be read by everyone who wants to understand the world in which we live.”
“If you’re interested in pre-Columbian history at all, no matter how broadly or narrowly defined your interest might be, this book is a must read.”
“I’m not a scientist, so I can’t attest to the accuracy of everything in this book. But as someone with an interest in history, I found it absolutely fascinating. It completely overturned my understanding of pre-Columbian America and has made me want to learn more.”
“This book has the potential to change the way you see history.”