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1491 (EBook, 2005, Knopf) 4 stars

A groundbreaking study that radically alters our understanding of the Americas before the arrival of …

Review of '1491' on Goodreads

4 stars

1) "At the heart of the new Qosqo was the plaza of Awkaypata, 625 feet by 550 feet, carpeted almost in its entirety with white sand carried in from the Pacific and raked daily by the city's army of workers. Monumental villas and temples surrounded the space on three sides, their walls made from immense blocks of stone so precisely cut and fit that Pizarro's younger cousin Pedro, who accompanied the conqueror as a page, reported 'that the point of a pin could not have been inserted in one of the joints.' Across their facades ran enormous plates of polished gold. When the alpine sun filled Awkaypata, with its boldly delineated horizontal plain of white sand and sloping sheets of gold, the space became an amphitheater for the exaltation of light."

2) "Nobody knows how many died during the pandemics of the 1770s and 1780s, but even if one had …