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.
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The top history book of the decade
This is the best book I've read all year. I've recomended it to friends and family and re-listened several times. We live in exciting times, and the fields of history and anthropology are constantly being challenged and changed as new discoveries are made. IMHO, Guns Germs and Steel set the gold standard for world history books. However, for the reasons I just mentioned, its important to keep up with emerging discoveries and new knowledge. I loved Mann's last book, 1491, for this reason. This book dramatically exceeds the previous work, no mean feat. For anyone interested in history, this is a MUST READ. Couldn't recomend more.
The chapters about colonial U.S. history were real eye-openers.
Not one to miss!
- Joshua Kim