Reply To: The Columbian Exchange

Jason Jewell

I work with mostly graduate students now, and it has been some time since I have seen the latest edition of a high-school or undergraduate survey text. So I do not have any direct examples to share with you.

What I would look for in deciding whether a textbook was skewed in this case would be an exaggerated account of how rosy pre-Columbian life was in the Americas, or an account that only discussed the negative impact of the exchange on the Americas. These are narratives that would play up the victim status of the peoples the Europeans encountered.