The cover of 1491


New Revelations of the Americas Before Columbus

by Charles Mann

I really enjoyed this book. I gave it a shot after doing half of “Enlightenment Now” and half of “Skin in the Game;” both extremely self-aggrandizing and dripping with ego. 1491 is neither of those things. Mann does an admirable job of telling a wide array of stories about the pre-Columbus Americas. He puts his ideas into historic and contemporary context, and doesn’t condescend or ignore the lay reader. His theories about Indians (I still have a hard time with the fact that he insists on calling them Indians) are extremely novel (to me), but don’t seem extreme. Overall, solid historic non-fiction.