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1491: New Revelations of the Americas before Columbus
Transcript of 1491: New Revelations of the Americas before Columbus
By: Charles C. Mann
Presented by: Angel Brown
About the Author
About the Author:
Charles C. Mann is an American journalist and author. He has been a coauthor for works such as The Atlantic, Science, and Wired. He has written for Fortune, The New York Times, Smithsonian, Vanity Fair, and The Washington Post. Being a finalist three times for the National Magazine Award, Mann has received writing awards from the American Bar Association, the American Institute of Physics, the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation, and the Lannan Foundation.
His most recent book, 1491, won the National Academies Communication Award for "Best Book of the Year."
Mann's purpose for writing this book is to educate and inform people about the real situation before and after Columbus.
Mann digs into the old views on the pre-Columbian era with new revolutionary evidence. We learn about how many Indians were really here before Columbus, that they were more culturally advanced than previously thought, and that the New World was not just forest and trees when the Europeans came.
Some facts that contributed to these ideas are:
Fact 1: In 1997, an archaeological dig in southern Chile turned up evidence of human habitation from twelve thousand years ago. Therefore, Indians may have traveled here way before the Bering Strait.
Fact 2: They figured out how to build extravagant buildings without the use of the wheel.
Fact 3: There has been some evidence of a currency system in Mesoamerica.
Fact 4: Religion was not a far fetch idea in pre-Columbian America. We have evidence of kings being praised as gods.
Fact 5: Indians domesticated some animals that the Europeans would have never dreamed of.
Fact 6: Indians may have spread through out the Americas faster than previously perceived.
Fact 7: Another breakthrough happened when scientists found a city that was thought to be the mother of all other Indian civilizations.
Fact 8: The Mesoamerican and Andean development of maize was a huge jump in agriculture.
Fact 9: Mesoamericans developed calendars and the wheel. Though, the wheel was only used for small toys.
Fact 10: Indians used a slash and burn technique to keep their land from becoming exhausted and depleted.
Mann really used an detective personality to put this book together. In Chapter 1, he is in a plane,
flying over Beni, a site with a lot of Indian landmarks.
We see all his connections and his determination to get all the facts.
In Chapter 6, Mann is in Mexico, learning the deep Mexican roots that mixed in with Indian culture.
Indian maize has become one of the most important agricultural aspects in Mexican history.
In Chapter 3, we learn of Indian religion and beliefs.
We learn of what really happened between Columbus and the Indians in Chapter 2. We also learn the betrayal and backstabbing that really wiped out the Indians.
Mann paints a whole different view to Indian culture.
In the final chapter, Mann explains how if we want our land to be at it's best fit, we must look to the past to save the future. The Indians had the right ideas.
Overall, 1491 was a really good book. I learned a lot about how the Indians really lived. I am the kind of person that loves to really understand and learn the truth behind the cliches. I loved how Mann didn't have a bias, as well. He presented the facts from both angles, not giving in to the pressure of fighting scientists. He also gave great detail with every fact. He went out and gathered his evidence as best he could. I would recommended this book to anyone and everyone who wants to expand their knowledge and learn the truth. I also would tell those who have a passion for debating to read this. It helps you form your opinions for yourself and helps you learn the material so you can defend it. Charles C. Mann did an amazing job in writing this detective epic.
I felt an intellectual connection. I felt that learning the real truth behind early Indian life can increase your knowledge. Reading 1491 presented a challenge on understanding the past and how it can help the future. Indians really did pave the way for us.
My Journal Entry
thanks for listening :)