Tuesday, February 6, 2007

book review: 1491 (cadillac)

i finished 1491 last night, a very engrossing portrait of the americas prior to the arrival of europeans in the late 15th century.

- for a history/soft social science read, it was incredibly well done.
- in addition to going over a lot of new information and recent discovery, the author also provides a great deal of richness around what life might have been like on both continents at many different stages pre-contact.
- plenty of thought provoking theories as to actual population density, level of (socio-cultural) complexity and development...

while not morally neutral (hard to imagine anything on this subject managing that), the author manages a good balance between perspectives, and is always up front when there is some dispute or contradicting theory/evidence to be considered. it helps both in credibility and readabilty - much better in terms of balance than some academic texts i've read, to be sure.

you should check this out...

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