Uncovering the New World Columbus Created

eBook - 2011
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From the author of 1491--the best-selling study of the pre-Columbian Americas--a deeply engaging new history of the most momentous biological event since the death of the dinosaurs. More than 200 million years ago, geological forces split apart the continents. Isolated from each other, the two halves of the world developed radically different suites of plants and animals. When Christopher Columbus set foot in the Americas, he ended that separation at a stroke. Driven by the economic goal of establishing trade with China, he accidentally set off an ecological convulsion as European vessels carried thousands of species to new homes across the oceans. The Columbian Exchange, as researchers call it, is the reason there are tomatoes in Italy, oranges in Florida, chocolates in Switzerland, and chili peppers in Thailand. More important, creatures the colonists knew nothing about hitched along for the ride. Earthworms, mosquitoes, and cockroaches;...
Publisher: 2011
ISBN: 9780307596727
Characteristics: 1 online resource

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Apr 26, 2018

This book is a fascinating look at many of the reasons why we find ourselves in the place in history we occupy today. The discovery of silver in South America which destabilized Europe and China. The Potato which improved the health of Europe, caused famine, and is now threatened by an insect. Malaria which killed many colonists in the "new world" as they also put pressures on the local people. Tobacco which drove North American colonization and drove new trade relationships. Many more products are described which resulted from the advancement into the Americas of European adventurers and which have made our world.
The most important idea I found in this book is that our present world, with its multi-national trade, the striving for wealth and opportunities, and political forces elbowing their way in are nothing new. Our ancestors were just as good at it as we are. And the story is much more complicated than the general history books would suggest.

mvkramer Mar 15, 2017

What a fascinating follow-up to "1491"! This book deals with some of the changes that the "discovery" of the Americas wrought on the world stage - not just in Europe, but also in Asia and Africa. Different chapters focus on different topics, such as malaria, the potato, or silver. Very interesting, and an under-explored area of history!

Dec 15, 2014

Reknitting the torn seams of Pangaea.

Sep 21, 2014

What a great read. The history of North America and South needs to be rewritten. If it hadn't been for smallpox, malaria, and yellow fever, the Indians would still rule.

buklover Jun 27, 2012

Mann does an amazing job at slowly unraveling Columbus' role in our modern world. He did try to throw a little too much in each section at times, so it became a bit overwhelming. Other than that, it was a great book. I would reccommend it to anyone taking European History.


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