2006: 1491 The Truth About the Americas Before Columbus

by Ben Dangl June 19, 2006 Upside Down World In many high school history classes students are told that before Columbus arrived the Americas were full of untamed wilderness loosely populated with savage Indians. Charles Mann’s book, 1491: New Revelations of the Americas Before Columbus proves that the opposite is true. He draws from recent archeological and scientific discoveries to describe booming civilizations which thrived throughout the Americas centuries before the arrival of Europeans. Like Howard Zinn’s A People’s History of the United States this book made me want to call up my old history teachers and tell them they were very wrong. In fact, Mann’s self-described thesis is to show that indigenous societies before the arrival of Columbus deserve more than a few misleading pages in a textbook. Mann was able to hold my attention not just with the details of complex indigenous societies, but also with controversies, adventures and divisions among the scientists and archeologists which have contributed to what we […] Read More

Have we finally found Atlantis

By Dominic Utton The fabled “Lost City” of Atlantis is one of mankind’s greatest and most enduring mysteries. First written of 2,350 years ago by the Greek philosopher Plato in his works the Timaeus and the Critias, the island beneath the sea has fascinated historians, poets, and the public ever since, but has remained tantalisingly hidden, shrouded in myth, legend and exaggeration. However, a new book by acclaimed historian Andrew Collins provides for the first time a clear argument for the civilisation’s existence and a pointer to its location. Plato described Atlantis as an empire founded by the sea god Poseidon on a land mass the size of “Libya and Asia put together”. It possessed a thriving capital, with sumptuous palaces, royal courts and harbours constantly receiving vessels from all over the world. For many generations, it ruled the Atlantic Ocean as well as parts of what Plato called […] Read More