© 1991 Brian M. Fagan
240 pages, including 180 photographs set into the text
I’ve had a fascination with the Aztecs for most of my life, since I first saw pictures in second grade depicting their water-city Tenochtitlan. Growing up in Alabama, my fourth-grade history text also introduced me to the fascinating lifestyles of the various indigenous people living here before European colonization. As such, I looked forward to reading this, which I figured would deal heavily with the Aztecs, Maya, and Inca. My interest in getting a book by this particular author stems from a lecture he gave at my university a number of weeks back, in which he described the Mayan temples as both sacred places and ways to catch and channel water. Although the book does address the three cultures I expected, the book’s scope is more broad than that and so Fagan does not go into a lot of detail — there are many other cultures to visit.
The book is well-written, provides ample pictures for illustration, and provides what I think is a generally good survey of the Americas. I enjoyed this book more than The Great Warming, at any rate, and will continue reading Fagan.