1493 for youth by Charles C. Mann

1493 for youth by Charles C. Mann

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A fascinating historical look at globalization that includes botany, anthropology, politics, exploration, slave trading and more!

1493 for young people: From Columbus & # 39; Journey to Globalization by Charles C. Mann and adapted by Rebecca Stefoff. Triangle Square, 2016. 416 pages.

  • Reading level: Age 12-15
  • Recommended for: From 10 years old (note the information below)

When Columbus reached the American coast, he unwittingly ushered in a new era in Earth's history. Everything has changed.

Mann does not focus on Columbus "discovering" America. Rather, he examines how Columbus' journey started globalization, again focusing on transatlantic and transpacific trade. People's enthusiasm for new products or cheaper products (such as tobacco) has fueled our modern global trade. Mann shows how plants, insects, diseases and other seemingly unrelated factors influenced such tremendous movements as the agricultural revolution and the industrial revolution. He deals with the slave trade and modern communities on the American continent founded by escaped slaves and Native Americans.

Such a synopsis paragraph does not do this book justice. Full of pictures, maps, interesting details and convincing arguments will raise good questions in the minds of readers in 1493 for young people. It shows how many factors come into play behind the scenes of important historical events or global movements. Man does not honor providence, but it is hard to read this book as a Christian and not to be surprised that so many things work together in a way that people could never orchestrate. Some results are negative, of course, but Mann shows both positive and negative results equally. He maintains an interested, journalistic tone, not a strict call to action to reverse events. The result is a book that stimulates thought and discussion and may help young people understand our current world a little better.


  • In general, this book can be read by an average 10-year-old (and older) if the topic interests them. A little mention of sexual arousal (in context) and another short section about multiple spouses is the only content for "adults". The content is interesting enough that even teenagers will enjoy it.
  • Readers will appreciate this book more if they already have a rough understanding of global history (i.e. key researchers, basic colonial American history, a good understanding of basic geography, etc.).
  • Interestingly, Mann uses AD and BC for data.

Overall rating: 4.25 / 5

  • Weltanschauung / moral evaluation: 4.25
  • Literary / artistic evaluation: 4.25

Related reading from the redeemed reader

  • A book review: The vanishing spoon by Sam Kean (another "youth version" that is fascinating to read)
  • A book review: Land of Hope by Wildred McKay (an excellent source of high school history)
  • An interview: with Cheryl Harness about teaching history today

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