Tuesday, September 27, 2011

In the Shadow of Columbus


Charles Mann's new book, 1493, is garnering rave reviews.

Voltaire would have loved Charles C. Mann’s outstanding new book, “1493: Uncovering the New World Columbus Created.” In more than 500 lively pages, it not only explains the chain of events that produced those candied fruits, nuts and gardens, but also weaves their stories together into a convincing explanation of why our world is the way it is. 

That's pretty impressive when even Voltaire gives his "thumb's up!"

13 comments:

  1. If it's okay with Voltaire, it's okay with me. Haven't read it yet, but will soon if anyone is interested.

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  2. Cool! I'd love to have someone to read along with. I'll start that one next.

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  3. You better wait a little while, av, as it takes 3 weeks to get a book to Vilnius. Maybe Trippler is also interested?

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  4. Will do. This one sounds like it might be even better than 1491 since the review you linked says Mann builds on Ecological Imperialism (a great book) rather than simply repackages it -- or at least I hope so.

    Keep me posted on your book availability -- I'm a pretty slow reader these days so will probably pick it up in a week or so.

    Trippler are you interested, too? Any others?

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  5. Sounds like a good read, esp in view of the very lively discussion we had about ''1491''. The waiting lists in my local & county libraries are rather long so I'll make a reservation right away.

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  6. I ordered 1493. Should get it in a few weeks. Will set the start of our discussion for November 1.

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  7. I cheated and read the first 25 pages or so. Interesting, and like 1491 easy to read. Plus anyone who starts a book with heirloom tomatoes is a-okay with me. Plus, I had no clue about Columbus and his early settlements in Hispanola.

    A warning though ... from what I've read so far this appears to be an Atlantic World sort of story -- all the exchanges that go back and forth between Europe, the Americas, and China. Sounds like he definitely plans to follow in the wake of Crosby's book, whom he acknowledges up front.

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  8. One interesting aside from the intro -- Crosby couldn't get his book published and ended up with a very small publisher to begin with. I read it in a seminar class, and it was decidedly unpopular with students and faculty because of the lack of "human agency."

    Okay, I'll stop now. Talk to you in November!

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  9. Look forward to the discussion.

    At the present moment (7:09PM) there is a discussion about Eugene V Debs on CSPAN ~ hope you get a chance to watch it.

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  10. Thanks for the heads up on the Debs program, Trippler. I just caught the last 30 or so minutes and will try to catch some of the replay on Sunday.

    They are doing these "contenders" every Friday night. Should be a great series.

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  11. Just got my copy of 1493 ~ hope I can finish it quickly as the waiting list is so long I will not likely be able to extend the loan period.

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  12. I have this on my kindle, so I might join you if my timing is right. I've been reading a lot of fiction, including the George R.R. Martin Song of Ice & Fire series, and I've started Michael Moore's latest book. When I'm done with book #4 of the Martin and Here Comes Trouble, I'll start 1493.

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