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In this groundbreaking work of science, history, and archaeology, Charles C. Mann radically alters our understanding of the Americas before the arrival of Columbus in 1492. 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 thought we knew. From the Trade Paperback edition.
Describes how recent archaeological research has transformed long-held myths about the Americas, revealing far older and more advanced cultures with a greater population than were previously thought to have existed.
Based on the startling revelations that the author presented in his adult-level 1491: New Revelations of the Americas Before Columbus, this book for young readers is a fascinating full-color journey into the world of the many advanced cultures that populated the Americas before the arrival of European explorers.
From the best-selling, award-winning author of 1491 and 1493--an incisive portrait of the two little-known twentieth-century scientists, Norman Borlaug and William Vogt, whose diametrically opposed views shaped our ideas about the environment, laying the groundwork for how people in the twenty-first century will choose to live in tomorrow's world. In forty years, Earth's population will reach ten billion. Can our world support that? What kind of world will it be? Those answering these questions generally fall into two deeply divided groups--Wizards and Prophets, as Charles Mann calls them in this balanced, authoritative, nonpolemical new book. The Prophets, he explains, follow William Vogt, a founding environmentalist who believed that in using more than our planet has to give, our prosperity will lead us to ruin. Cut back! was his mantra. Otherwise everyone will lose! The Wizards are the heirs of Norman Borlaug, whose research, in effect, wrangled the world in service to our species to produce modern high-yield crops that then saved millions from starvation. Innovate! was Borlaug's cry. Only in that way can everyone win! Mann delves into these diverging viewpoints to assess the four great challenges humanity faces--food, water, energy, climate change--grounding each in historical context and weighing the options for the future. With our civilization on the line, the author's insightful analysis is an essential addition to the urgent conversation about how our children will fare on an increasingly crowded Earth.
North America Before the European Invasions tells the histories of North American peoples from first migrations in the Late Glacial Age, sixteen thousand years ago or more, to the European invasions following Columbus’s arrival. Contrary to invaders’ propaganda, North America was no wilderness, and its peoples had developed a variety of sophisticated resource uses, including intensive agriculture and cities in Mexico and the Midwest. Written in an easy-flowing style, the book is a true history although based primarily on archeological material. It reflects current emphasis within archaeology on rejecting the notion of “pre”-history, instead combining archaeology with post-Columbian ethnographies and histories to present the long histories of North America’s native peoples, most of them still here and still part of the continent’s history.
A vivid new book from an established and bestselling historian.
Reveals how the voyages of Columbus reintroduced plants and animals that had been separated millions of years earlier, documenting how the ensuing exchange of flora and fauna between Eurasia and the Americas fostered a European rise, decimated imperial China and rendered Manila and Mexico City the center of the world for two centuries. Reprint.

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