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.
Amazon.com Review Guest Reviewer: Nathaniel Philbrick on 1493 by Charles C. Mann _Nathaniel Philbrick is the author of the New York Times bestsellers The Last Stand; In the Heart of the Sea, which won the National Book Award; Sea of Glory, winner of the Theodore and Franklin D. Roosevelt Naval History Prize; and Mayflower, which was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize in history and one of the New York Times' ten best books of the year. He has lived on Nantucket since 1986._ I’m a big fan of Charles Mann’s previous book 1491, in which he provides a sweeping and provocative examination of North and South America prior to the arrival of Christopher Columbus. It’s exhaustively researched but so wonderfully written that it’s anything but exhausting to read. With his follow-up, 1493, Mann has taken it to a new, truly global level. Building on the groundbreaking work of Alfred Crosby (author of The Columbian Exchange and, I’m proud to say, a fellow Nantucketer), Mann has written nothing less than the story of our world: how a planet of what were once several autonomous continents is quickly becoming a single, “globalized” entity. Mann not only talked to countless scientists and researchers; he visited the places he writes about, and as a consequence, the book has a marvelously wide-ranging yet personal feel as we follow Mann from one far-flung corner of the world to the next. And always, the prose is masterful. In telling the improbable story of how Spanish and Chinese cultures collided in the Philippines in the sixteenth century, he takes us to the island of Mindoro whose “southern coast consists of a number of small bays, one next to another like tooth marks in an apple.” We learn how the spread of malaria, the potato, tobacco, guano, rubber plants, and sugar cane have disrupted and convulsed the planet and will continue to do so until we are finally living on one integrated or at least close-to-integrated Earth. Whether or not the human instigators of all this remarkable change will survive the process they helped to initiate more than five hundred years ago remains, Mann suggests in this monumental and revelatory book, an open question. Timeline for 1493 200,000,000 B.C.: Geological forces begin to break up the world’s single giant continent, Pangaea, forever separating the hemispheres. After this, Eurasia and the Americas develop completely different suites of plants and animals. 1493 A.D.: Columbus sails on second voyage, establishing the first consequential European settlement in the Americas. Without intending to, he ends the long separation of the hemispheres—and sets off the ecological convulsion known as the Columbian Exchange. 1518: In the first environmental calamity of the modern era, accidentally imported African scale insects in Hispaniola lead to an explosion of fire ants. Spaniards flee the ant-infested island in droves; colonists in Santo Domingo hold procession in honor of St. Saturninus, praying for his aid against the insect plague. 1545: Spaniards discover the world’s biggest silver strike in Bolivia. In the next century, the world’s supply of this precious metal will more than double, giving Europe an economic edge that will help it colonize Africa, Asia and the Americas. 1549: Initial appearance of tobacco—the addictive American drug that becomes the first global commodity craze—in China. That same year, Hernán Cortés inaugurates the human part of the Columbian Exchange by signing the first contract to import large numbers of Africans to the American mainland. 1571: Miguel López de Legazpi colonizes Manila and establishes continual trade with China—Columbus’s life-long, never-fulfilled dream. Knitting the entire inhabited planet into a single web of trade, Legazpi’s actions are the beginning of today’s economic globalization. ~1615: Earthworms come to northern North America in English ship ballast. During the next three centuries, they will re-engineer forests from Ohio Valley to Hudson Bay. 1630-60: The gush of American silver finally causes its price to collapse, setting off a the world’s first global economic calamity. 1644: Collapse of Ming dynasty. Long struggle between remaining Ming in south and incoming Qing dynasty in north leads the latter to forcibly evacuate most of the southern coast; millions of dispossessed people pour into the mountains, where they grow maize and sweet potatoes, American crops first smuggled into China from Manila and other European bases. 1775: France’s Flour War, set off by high bread prices, persuades King Louis XVI to allow the pioneering nutritional chemist Antoine-Augustin Parmentier to stage a series of publicity stunts to persuade farmers to grow potatoes, a distrusted foreign species from Peru. Parmentier’s PR is so successful that broad swathes of northern Europe are soon covered with a monoculture of potatoes. 1781: Britain’s “southern strategy” pushes Gen. Cornwallis’s army into North America’s malaria zone, an area dominated by malaria parasites introduced from Europe and Africa. Defeated by malaria, the British army surrenders to a general it never fought: George Washington. This ends the Revolutionary War. 1845: Europe’s potato monoculture, which is unlike anything ever seen in Peru, turns out to be especially vulnerable to another Peruvian import, the potato blight. Ravaging the continent from Russia to Ireland, the blight causes a famine that kills an estimated two million people, half of them in Ireland. ~1867: Léopold Trouvelot, French amateur entomologist, smuggles gypsy moths to Medford, Mass., hoping to breed them with native silk-producing moths to produce a more robust silk-producer. Their almost immediate escape sets off an invasion that continues today. Trouvelot hurriedly returns to France before the dimensions of the problem can be known. 1880-1912: Industrializing nations, desperate for the elastic belts, pliable gaskets and the aborbent tires needed by steam engines and vehicles, buy every scrap of rubber they can get from the Amazon’s rubber trees, the sole source of high-quality latex. The ensuing rubber boom collapses after an Englishman smuggles rubber trees out of Brazil. Soon much of southeast Asia is covered with this foreign tree. 1979: The golden apple snail is sent from Brazil to Taiwan to launch an escargot industry there. It escapes, proliferates, and becomes a major menace to the island’s rice crop. Review “A muscular, densely documented follow-up [to_ Mann’s 1491] . . . Like its predecessor, 1493 _runs to more than 400 pages, but it moves at a gallop . . . As a historian Mann should be admired not just for his broad scope and restless intelligence but for his biological senstivity. At every point of his tale he keeps foremost in his mind the effect of humans’ activities on the broader environment they inhabit.” -Alfred W. Crosby, The Wall Street Journal “In the wake of his groundbreaking book_ 1491_ Charles Mann has once again produced a brilliant and riveting work that will forever change the way we see the world. Mann shows how the ecological collision of Europe and the Americas transformed virtually every aspect of human history. Beautifully written, and packed with startling research, 1493 is a monumental achievement." -David Grann, author of The Lost City of Z “Spirited . . . One thing is indisputable: Mann is definitely global in his outlook and tribal in his thinking . . . Mann’s taxonomy of the ecological, political, religious, economic, anthropological and mystical melds together in an intriguing whole cloth.” -Jonathan E. Lazarus, The [Newark] Star-Ledger “Fascinating . . . Convincing . . . A spellbinding account of how an unplanned collision of unfamiliar animals, vegetables, minerals and diseases produced unforeseen wealth, misery, social upheaval and the modern world.” -Starred review,_ Kirkus_ “A landmark book . . . Entrancingly provocative, 1493 bristles with illuminations, insights and surprises.” -John McFarland, Shelf Awareness “A fascinating survey . . . A lucid historical panorama that’s studded with entertaining studies of Chinese pirate fleets, courtly tobacco rituals, and the bloody feud between Jamestown colonists and the Indians who fed and fought them, to name a few. Brilliantly assembling colorful details into big-picture insights, Mann’s fresh challenge to Eurocentric histories puts interdependence at the origin of modernity.” -Starred review,_ Publishers Weekly_ “In 1491 Charles Mann brilliantly described the Americas on the eve of Columbus’s voyage. Now in 1493 he tells how the world was changed forever by the movement of foods, metals, plants, people and diseases between the ‘New World’ and both Europe and China. His book is readable and well-written, based on his usual broad research, travels and interviews. A fascinating and important topic, admirably told.” -John Hemming, author of Tree of Rivers “Fascinating . . . Engaging and well-written . . . Information and insight abound on every page. This dazzling display of erudition, theory and insight will help readers to view history in a fresh way.” -Roger Bishop, BookPage “Charles Mann expertly shows how the complex, interconnected ecological and economic consequences of the European discovery of the Americas shaped many unexpected aspects of the modern world. This is an example of the best kind of history book: one that changes the way you look at the world, even as it informs and entertains.” -Tom Standage, author of A History of the World in Six Glasses
1493 for Young People by Charles C. Mann tells the gripping story of globalization through travel, trade, colonization, and migration from its beginnings in the fifteenth century to the present. How did the lowly potato plant feed the poor across Europe and then cause the deaths of millions? How did the rubber plant enable industrialization? What is the connection between malaria, slavery, and the outcome of the American Revolution? How did the fabled silver mountain of sixteenth-century Bolivia fund economic development in the flood-prone plains of rural China and the wars of the Spanish Empire? Here is the story of how sometimes the greatest leaps also posed the greatest threats to human advancement. Mann's language is as plainspoken and clear as it is provocative, his research and erudition vast, his conclusions ones that will stimulate the critical thinking of young people. 1493 for Young People provides tools for wrestling with the most pressing issues of today, and will empower young people as they struggle with a changing world. From the Hardcover edition.
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.
Italians became fascinated by the New World in the early modern period. While Atlantic World scholarship has traditionally tended to focus on the acts of conquest and the politics of colonialism, these essays consider the reception of ideas, images and goods from the Americas in the non-colonial state of Italy. Italians began to venerate images of the Peruvian Virgin of Copacabana, plant tomatoes, potatoes, and maize, and publish costume books showcasing the clothing of the kings and queens of Florida, revealing the powerful hold that the Americas had on the Italian imagination. By considering a variety of cases illuminating the presence of the Americas in Italy, this volume demonstrates how early modern Italian culture developed as much from multicultural contact - with Mexico, Peru, Brazil, and the Caribbean - as it did from the rediscovery of classical antiquity.
This book describes a natural unification of all humans and respect for all sentient life. The basis for unification is the recognition that all humans are equal members of the 200,000 year-old African (Source-Ken) family. With a consciousness change, World African can become the drivers of unification. World Africans are currently attached to the myth imposed by their enslavers and colonizers, the divisive Abrahamic religions (Judaism, Christianity, and Islam). It requires self-hate, perhaps unconscious, to believe in a religion whose original Jewish interpretation of the Ham-Noah myth was that African people were cursed. The Abrahamic-Myths are built upon three principles: Law, Monotheism, and Specialness. Law and Monotheism are ancient African inventions. Specialness is a Jewish invention done while captive in Babylon. The transmutation proposed in this book is science-based: Africans were the first people and they even now have more genetic diversity than the rest of humanity. World Africans can believe that they are Preeminent in Nature. Science shows the African-hominin-ancestors co-created with Nature the human body including the vaunted brain. Courageously, World Africans can bring to consciousness the genetic-basis of their natural Specialness to overcome the 1,500 year legacy of slavery and stimulate equality, Equitocracy, for all people.
"Uncommonly good…makes a compelling case that…intellectual curiosity not only changed Europe, but launched modernity." —Cleveland Plain Dealer When Columbus first returned to Spain from the Caribbean, he dazzled King Ferdinand and Queen Isabella with exotic parrots, tropical flowers, and bits of gold. Inspired by the promise of riches, countless seafarers poured out of the Iberian Peninsula and wider Europe in search of spices, treasure, and land. Many returned with strange tales of the New World. Curiosity began to percolate through Europe as the New World’s people, animals, and plants ruptured prior assumptions about the biblical description of creation. The Church, long fearful of challenges to its authority, could no longer suppress the mantra “Dare to know!” Noblemen began collecting cabinets of curiosities; soon others went from collecting to examining natural objects with fresh eyes. Observation led to experiments; competing conclusions triggered debates. The foundations for the natural sciences were laid as questions became more multifaceted and answers became more complex. Carl Linneaus developed a classification system and sent students around the globe looking for specimens. Museums, botanical gardens, and philosophical societies turned their attention to nature. National governments undertook explorations of the Pacific. Eminent historian Joyce Appleby vividly recounts the explorers’ triumphs and mishaps, including Magellan’s violent death in the Philippines; the miserable trek of the "new Argonauts" across the Andes on their mission to determine the true shape of the earth; and how two brilliant scientists, Alexander Humboldt and Charles Darwin, traveled to the Americas for evidence to confirm their hypotheses about the earth and its inhabitants. Drawing on detailed eyewitness accounts, Appleby also tells of the turmoil created in the all societies touched by the explorations. This sweeping, global story imbues the Age of Discovery with fresh meaning, elegantly charting its stimulation of the natural sciences, which ultimately propelled Western Europe toward modernity.
Taking a comprehensive, nuanced, and inclusive approach to Christopher Columbus, this illuminating biography with activities for young readers places him in the context of the explorations that came before, during, and after his lifetime. It portrays the “Admiral of the Ocean Seas” neither as hero nor heel, but as a flawed and complex man whose significance is undeniably monumental. Providing kids, parents, and teachers with a fuller picture of the seafaring life and the dangers and thrills of exploration, author Ronald Reis details all four of Columbus’s voyages to the New World, not just his first, and describes the year that Columbus spent stranded on the island of Jamaica without hope of rescue. A full chapter is devoted to painting a more complete and complex portrait of the indigenous peoples of the New World and another to the consequences of Columbus’s voyages—the exchange of diseases, ideas, crops, and populations between the New World and the Old. Engaging cross-curricular activities, such as taking nautical measurements, simulating a hurricane, making an ancient globe, and conducting silent trade, elucidate nautical concepts introduced and the times in which Columbus lived.
Up until very recently it was believed that in 1491, the year before Columbus landed, the Americas, one-third of the earth's surface, were a near-pristine wilderness inhabited by small, roaming bands of indigenous peoples. Then, the story went, they encountered European society, their world was turned upside down and they entered history. But recently unexpected discoveries have dramatically changed our understanding of Indian Life. Many scholars now argue that the Indians were much more numerous than previously believed, that they were in the Americas for far longer, and that they had far more ecological impact on the land. This knowledge has enormous implications for today's environmental disputes, yet little has filtered into textbooks, and even less into public awareness. Charles Mann brings together all of the latest research, and the results of his own travels throughout North and South America, to provide a new, fascinating and iconoclastic account of the Americas before Columbus.
Encountering ETI weaves together scientific knowledge and spiritual faith in a cosmic context. It explores consequences of Contact between terrestrial intelligent life (TI) and extraterrestrial intelligent life (ETI). Humans will face cosmic displacement if there are other complex, technologically advanced intelligent beings in the universe; our economic structures and religious beliefs might need substantial revision. On Earth or in space, humans could encounter benevolent ETI (solicitous of our striving for maturity as a species) or malevolent ETI (seeking our land and goods to benefit themselves, claiming that their "superior civilization" gives them the right)--or meet both types of species. Earth Encounters of the Third Kind described by credible witnesses (including American Indian elders) suggest that both have arrived already: some shut down U.S. and U.S.S.R. ICBM missiles to promote peace; others mutilated cattle or abducted people, perhaps to acquire physiological data on biota for scientific study or for other, unknown purposes. Sci-fi movies such as Avatar and novels like The Martian Chronicles describe humans as malevolent ETI aliens: we do to others what we fear others will do to us. A shared and evolving spiritual materiality could enable humanity to overcome cosmic displacement, and guide TI and ETI in a common quest for meaning and wellbeing on cosmic common ground.