From food to the spread of political ideas, the landmass from northern Canada to the southern tip of Argentina is complexly bound together, yet these connections are generally ignored. In this groundbreaking and vividly rendered work, leading historian Felipe Fernández-Armesto tells, for the first time, the story of our hemisphere as a whole, showing why it is impossible to understand North, Central, and South America in isolation, and looking instead to the intricate and common forces that continue to shape the region.
With his trademark erudition, imagination, and thematic breadth, Fernández-Armesto ranges over commerce, religion, agriculture, the environment, the slave trade, culture, and politics. He takes us from man’s arrival in North America to the Colonial and Independence periods, to the “American Century” and beyond. For most of human history, the south dominated the north: as Fernández-Armesto argues in his provocative conclusion, it might well again.
A panoramic yet richly textured story that embodies fresh ways of looking at cross-cultural exchange, conflict, and interaction, The Americas demolishes our traditional ways of looking at the hemisphere, putting in place a compelling and fruitful new vision.
From the Hardcover edition.
- Random House Publishing Group, May 2003
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