1493: a recommendation

The second creation by Robert Crease and Charles Mann is one of the most influential books for me. I had it issued during the summer vacation of 1995 and read it again and again. I thought I understood what it means to do research while reading the book. And reading is certainly one of the factors that influenced my decision to do a PhD. I have always been meaning to revisit the book to see how it reads to me now. I will do it someday and write about it here.

In the meanwhile, I see that Charles Mann is onto other things:

Razib Khan posts an interview with author Charles C. Mann, whose new book 1493: Uncovering the New World Columbus Created is an account of the social and ecological effects of the Columbian exchange on the peoples of the Americas.

I knew that Asians had worked under brutal conditions on the railroads. But I had no idea that something like 250,000 Asian slaves had been taken to the Americas in the 19th century. Similarly, I suspect that most Mexicans don’t know that Mexico City had a thriving Chinatown by the early 1600s. And most Peruvians don’t know that Asians were a significant presence in Lima as early as the 1611 census. And so on.

I liked his earlier book, 1491 a lot, and I’ll be reading the new one soon.

May be I should add 1491 and 1493 to my to read pile!


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