O livro 1491: New Revelations of the Americas Before Colombus, de Charles C. Mann, procura explicar as diferenças políticas, económicas e culturais na América Latina entre os períodos anterior e posterior à descoberta da região por Cristóvão Colombo. A recensão crítica The First Global Man, assinada por Jeremy Adelman na Foreign Affairs, resume o livro. Deixamos um excerto:
The conquistadors often justified the devastation they wrought by proclaiming that the defeated were simply part of nature, not its masters. Ironically, centuries later, purportedly progressive environmentalist authors, such as Sale, would similarly argue that, in Mann’s words, Native Americans lived “in a spiritual balance with Nature.” Mann shows that Native Americans were in fact something very different, and in that sense familiar: inventive people who molded the world around them.