Emily's Reviews > 1493: Uncovering the New World Columbus Created

1493 by Charles C. Mann
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's review
Feb 15, 2012

really liked it
bookshelves: 2012
Read in February, 2012

I read this last month and didn't have time to review it immediately, which will unfortunately make this review vaguer than it should be. I loved 1491, which I definitely count as a book that changed my perspective on the world. This sequel is more miscellaneous. Where 1491 had a clarion main idea--that pre-Columbian America was far more densely populated and richly sophisticated than we learned in school--the sequel charts repercussions of "the Columbian Exchange" more episodically. Some of the more worthwhile sections concern communities of escaped slaves in South America, yellow fever and malaria at different latitudes in the New World, and how the potato both fed Europe and doomed parts of it to famine due to a blight that was itself imported from the Americas. This book felt longer, more loosely held together, and less surprising. Not as good as the first one, but still worth a read.

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