‘New Revelations of the Americas before Columbus



‘New Revelations of the Americas before Columbus

The main reason why Charles C. Mann wrote the book ‘New Revelations of the Americas before Columbus’, was to expose a chain of myths that surrounded the pre-Columbian. The author writes that the history they were taught while in school about pre-Columbian America was wrong nearly in every aspect. The author writes that Indians were in Columbia much longer and were there in much greater number than earlier thought. The Indians were so successful at working on the landscape.

Mann tries to come up with three main points, synthesizing decades of academic work on the pre-Columbian inhabitants, the effect of the aged world pathogens, animals and plants, migration of the Ice Age, the configuration and fall of complex societies in Mesoamerica, Northern and Southern parts of America and other related topics. The work of Mann is very wide in capacity ranging from space and time from the Ice Age of Beringia to the Amazonia’s 20th century and illustration on the minor literature in archaeology, anthropology and history.


Mann’s book was written to a general audience and his conclusions were based on interviews, personal observations and also on academic literature. Most of Mann’s findings are recognizable to educational historians. The most fascinating features of the Author’s book is how learning in the past twenty and over  years had little effects on dispelling the pernicious and tenacious myths of what the Americans were like before the Europeans arrived.

The first asset of the book is its expert preference part, in the direct and lucid writing style of the underpinnings of the outlook. The asset of this book also shows how the thoughtful Indians known as the Paleo hippies deprives the Europeans of the human agencies they are always thought of possessing. Mann clearly states that the great collapse of the population was due to disastrous decisions on the roles that were played by the leaders.  The Indians began to experience pathogens like drought immediately they sited accountability in the hands of the Europeans.

The other asset of the book to scholars who have the Atlantic belt is the balance it creates between the civilizations of Mesoamerican and the Northern and southern America.  The Europeans reached in the landscape when their population had already gone down. The third asset is where Mann summarizes the tense and dense scholarly arguments that surround his various subjects and the implications these subjects have on today’s political questions.  For example, the author argues that the presence of the large Columbian population that was at the centre of the Amazon lead to the constant expansion of the area and has posed destructive effects to the region’s ecosystem. The Indians, Europeans and Americans were very wasteful.

The book is very important especially for undergraduate classes because it works as a means of introducing scholars to the expansive implications and minutia and of educational debates. Mann makes interesting assertions on food and food production.  The author claims that the first cities in America dating from 3000 years B.C were on the Peruvian coast and one of them was Norte Chico. Mann dismisses the connection between the complex, urbanization and Neolithic Revolution societies that are found in most of the world civilization books. Notre Chico was not interested in food crops because they fed on prolific fish that came from the Humboldt Current, therefore, cultivated the only cotton.

The other food-related point in the book is the cultivation of maize and the combinations of beans, squash and maize from both horticultural and nutritional perspective. This theme of this story is an assertion that the New and the Old world were equal in their accomplishment, population and civilization. In the author’s view, the unexplained and unexpected difficult progression whereby maize was hereditarily engineered from discouraging and ambiguous wild grass makes it an artistic accomplishment on the same level with those of traditional and antique Eurasian civilizations.

The most striking and unfamiliar assertion in the book is the confirmation for numerous inhabitants centres that were found in Amazon.  The author argues that the region had a large population because of the type of soil found in there which is known as terra preta. The soil is enriched with charcoal, therefore, more durable and fertile as compared to the acidic soil found in the rain forest.

The author of the book has a marvellous eye for detail and imagery.  The suggestion that the Europeans got into a world that was distorted by diseases attacking non-local plants and animals is outdated. The evidence of ecology that was thrown out of balance and the newest way to articulate the point are the images that were used by the Europeans to express the recompense of the American continent like, the boundless herds of bison and the enormous flocks of traveller pigeons.

Despite these virtues, there are boundaries in the attempt to cover so much in a single volume. In his comparison of Eurasian and American civilizations, the author is very fast in seizing the dimension of cities and the probable populations so as to compare them. During his comparison, Mann is slow in stressing that London and Cahokia played very different roles.

The final section of the book

The final section of the book is very disappointing. In the section, the author describes how the Europeans observation of and interaction with five or six nations stimulated the Americans morals of freedom and person autonomy. The author ropes his element by pointing out that the English settlers always ran off to reside with the Indians during the early time of settlement.

Mann incorrectly assumes that the white Indians were primarily drawn by enticing of Iroquois traditions and those in Plymouth were likely to flee hunger.  There were no Indians who ran away to unite with the Haudenosaunee: English who were in England were terrified by the Mohawks as they regarded them as the as fierce cannibals while those in Jamestown were far away. Some Indians were captured and Mann tries to explain why most of the captives were unwilling to return from the French families. Mann outlines another scholarly controversy which is known in another word as the Iroquois influence thesis.


The author outlines the scholarly controversy and for the first time, exclusive of naming it or acknowledging the fact that there are wiles on both the sides of the matter. In this section, the author abandons the important distinction between later reminiscences and the first-hand accounts. The members of the Tea Party in Boston famed themselves as the Mohawks and not because they had affirmed themselves as rebels but because they wanted to depict themselves as Americans. The moment Indians stopped playing a vital role in daily lives, source of food esteemed allies and feared enemies, many writers came up who wanted to write about them concerning misinformed motivation.

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