1493: Book summary and reviews of 1493 by Charles C. Mann

1493

Uncovering the New World Columbus Created

By Charles C. Mann

1493
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  • Published in USA  Aug 2011,
    560 pages.

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Book Summary

From the author of 1491 - the best-selling study of the pre-Columbian Americas - a deeply engaging new history that explores the most momentous biological event since the death of the dinosaurs.

More than 200 million years ago, geological forces split apart the continents. Isolated from each other, the two halves of the world developed totally different suites of plants and animals. Columbus's voyages brought them back together - and marked the beginning of an extraordinary exchange of flora and fauna between Eurasia and the Americas.

As Charles Mann shows, this global ecological tumult the "Columbian Exchange" - underlies much of subsequent human history. Presenting the latest generation of research by scientists, Mann shows how the creation of this worldwide network of exchange fostered the rise of Europe, devastated imperial China, convulsed Africa, and for two centuries made Manila and Mexico City - where Asia, Europe, and the new frontier of the Americas dynamically interacted - the center of the world.

In 1493, Charles Mann gives us an eye-opening scientific interpretation of our past, unequaled in its authority and fascination.

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Reviews

Media Reviews

"Starred Review. Focusing on ecology and economics, Mann provides a spellbinding account of how an unplanned collision of unfamiliar animals, vegetables, minerals and diseases produced unforeseen wealth, misery, social upheaval and the modern world." - Kirkus Reviews

"Starred Review. Brilliantly assembling colorful details into big-picture insights, Mann's fresh, challenge to Eurocentric histories puts interdependence at the origin of modernity." - Publishers Weekly

"Charles C. Mann glories in reality, immersing his reader in complexity. He launches across the Atlantic with Columbus and swings port and starboard through time and space over the whole of the world. The worn clichés crumble as readers gain introductions to the freshest of the systems of analysis gendered in the first post-Columbian millennium." - Alfred W. Crosby, author of The Columbian Exchange

"In the wake of his groundbreaking book 1491 Charles Mann has once again produced a brilliant and riveting work that will forever change the way we see the world. Mann shows how the ecological collision of Europe and the Americas transformed virtually every aspect of human history. Beautifully written, and packed with startling research, 1493 is a monumental achievement." - David Grann, author of The Lost City of Z

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Author Information

Charles C. Mann Author Biography

Photo © J.D. Sloan

Charles C. Mann is a correspondent for Science and The Atlantic Monthly, and has cowritten several previous books including Noah’s Choice: The Future of Endangered Species and The Second Creation. A three-time National Magazine Award finalist, he has won awards from the American Bar Association, the Margaret Sanger Foundation, the American Institute of Physics, and the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation, among others. His writing was selected for The Best American Science Writing 2003 and The Best American Science and Nature Writing 2003. He lives with his wife and their children in Amherst, Massachusetts.

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