A Review of the Columbian Exchange

Essay by jhoganUniversity, Bachelor'sA, May 2004

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A Review of The Columbian Exchange

By: Justin Hogan

The Columbian Exchange, by Alfred W. Crosby, is an in-depth look at the biological and cultural consequences of Columbus's discovery of the New World. The Columbian Exchange focuses on the negative aspects of the European exploration and exploitation of the Americas and Europe. Alfred W. Crosby focused on the dependence of different foods, the changes in lifestyles, and the effects that the European flora and fauna had on the New World, changing the Americas forever. The Columbian Exchange would be an excellent book for any historian, but not someone looking for a great story. The book was very hard to follow due to the amount of information given in each chapter. Choosing which information was most important in Crosby's book, was a very difficult task. Crosby also had a tendency to deviate from the subject matter and does not always provide enough evidence for his claims.

In some cases, however, these tangents allowed the reader to better understand the point he was trying to make, but mostly it makes trudging through endless examples and repetition a chore.

In the book, The Columbian Exchange, Crosby tries to prove that the natives of the New World were victims of European disease and culture. Crosby goes into great detail about disease and the impact it had on the peoples of the New World. He explains how pure and isolated the Indians lives were before white-men and their diseases entered the New World. Crosby tries to show the founding of the Americas was not just about a man by the name of Christopher Columbus stumbling across a new world. In his book, he shows how the Europeans stumbled across, not a new world, but a world that was already colonized by another...