Wednesday, July 11, 2018

1491 - New Revelations of the Americas Before Columbus

This is the best thing I've ever read.

Okay - that might be a bit hyperbolic, but only a bit. This is a non-fiction book that tells the story of the highly-civilized world that existed in the Americas before Columbus arrived and fucked it all up.

It smashes your preconceptions of the people that lived on this land for centuries. It is unputdownably fascinating. It will ramp up your white guilt to unprecedented levels.

Read this book.


  1. Adding it to my (growing) list of "to reads".

  2. After Susan's post about online reviews, I tried to find some outlandish ones for this book. Sadly, the best I could come up with were the following three:

    -I didn't know any of this shit! There were, like, tons and tons of Native Americans,in huge, modern cities, all over the place! They were making huge monuments at Cahokia that are still there! The Aztecs had running water! They were farming the Amazon!

    - Confession: I never finished this, leaving about 50 pages (about 15%)on the table. With non-fiction books that are based around a particular theory I feel like as long as I read enough to internalize the argument and really understand some of the evidence I can stop reading when I get bored. If I missed some revelation on page 420 somebody let me know.

    - I remember being blown away by this book but unfortunately my notes (what I can find of them) from that time only consist of the following:
    p. 251 bison fire Ny-GA
    p. 256 weed crops food: maygrass patties, steamed knowt-weed beans, little barley
    p. 265 hickory nut milk -grind boil strain
    p. 333 Iroquoian Great law of Peace

  3. Visit Cahokia! It's right across the river from me.

    I now have to read this book.

  4. Oooh . . . ramped-up white guilt! How can I resist?

  5. Will someone PLEASE just get me a big-ass trust fund? I can't even keep up with blog reading, and all I want to do is read and travel now, thank you very much.

    1. I think we should write to Elon Musk and propose this: he provides all of us with enough money to read and travel for a year. In return, we will collectively produce 1001 tales and take turns reading one to him each night. If he is dissatisfied with any of them, he can execute the reader on the spot. Only figuratively, of course.

  6. How can I say anything after Helen's reply to IB above? lol

    Yes please to the big-ass trust fund.
    And we have different white guilt, but as a student of history, I now really want to read this too.

  7. Sabine, have you been assassinated by an aficionado of Columbus?


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