Razib Khan posts an interview with author Charles C. Mann, whose new book 1493: Uncovering the New World Columbus Created is an account of the social and ecological effects of the Columbian exchange on the peoples of the Americas.
I knew that Asians had worked under brutal conditions on the railroads. But I had no idea that something like 250,000 Asian slaves had been taken to the Americas in the 19th century. Similarly, I suspect that most Mexicans don’t know that Mexico City had a thriving Chinatown by the early 1600s. And most Peruvians don’t know that Asians were a significant presence in Lima as early as the 1611 census. And so on.
I liked his earlier book, 1491 a lot, and I'll be reading the new one soon.