I’m about 200 pages into 1491, a new book by Charles Mann about the civilizations of the Americas before the Europeans and European diseases came in. The book is very interesting for
- its discussion of the Indian tribes in New England and how their conflicts played into the hands of the English
- the history of an advanced society in Norte Chico, just north of Lima, Peru, dating back to around 3500 B.C. and possibly earlier, all based on research from the last 30 years or so and much of it based on research from the 1990s
- the texture of Indian life that comes through
- the texture of the debates among scientists trying to piece together the histories of these almost-extinct cultures
- lots of great maps, photos, and illustrations
Highly recommended to all residents of and visitors to the Americas.