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Obviously extensively researched and told from as disinterested observer and not falling prey to temptation to editorialize these lives and cultures. The author takes obvious pains to not apply 21st century values and project them into what is already a deeply fascinating story on its own.
The actor was polished and clearly enunciated even difficult native names and places. Overall an excellent choice of narrator.
8 of 8 people found this review helpful
This was not really worth a 4, but it got extra points for interesting things to think about, even if not all were well supported. Despite the title, this is not a picture of the Americas in 1491, instead it looks at history in the Americas prior (and shortly after) 1491. It is less focused than I like in a history and a lot of the science quoted it disputed at best, but nevertheless were interesting (and offbeat). The author has a clear point of view, and does not always analyze evidence objectively. So take almost everything presented within with a grain (or more) of salt.
Nevertheless I recommend reading this, as the author, although bias, wears his bias on his sleeve, and presents the materials as alternative ideas to consider (and may become fully accepted in the future).
The book presents ideas about more advanced, more populous, more political, earlier arriving, and wider spread, early Americans that were differently (not less) developed than 1491 Europe.
I was dubious about some of the archaeological dates and analysis but I enjoyed thinking about many of the ideas presented. Particularly interesting was the possibility that some of the key features of US democracy and egalitarianism was based upon northeastern early America traditions and that US Northern anti-slavery and Southern pro-slavery might be related to the slavery beliefs of the early Americans in each area.
I found the narration excellent, clear, light and expressive and it did well with the many complex names.
11 of 12 people found this review helpful