Charles C. Mann biography

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Charles C. Mann
Photo © J.D. Sloan

Charles C. Mann

Charles C. Mann Biography

Charles C. Mann is a correspondent for Science and The Atlantic Monthly, and has co-written 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. In 2005 his book 1491: New Revelation of the Americas Before Columbus was released and in 2011, 1493: Uncovering the New World Columbus Created. 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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Interview

In this fascinating and far-reaching interview Charles Mann, author of 1491, explains why most of what we learned in school about the settlement of the Americas before the arrival of Europeans is simply not true.

Although this book had its origins in an Atlantic Monthly cover story, what was it that first drew you to the subject?
Two things, I think. More than twenty years ago, I wrote an article for Science (I'm a correspondent for the journal's news division) that involved going to the Yucatan peninsula. I visited some of the Maya ruins there and like so many other people was absolutely fascinated. I'd just spent two years living in Rome, and I was struck by how much more extensive—but equally finely built—the Maya ruins were. I also was astonished by how different the aesthetic system was—the vertiginous staircases, the corbel arches, the huge reliefs, etc.

This dovetailed with something else. The summer before seventh grade, my parents moved from the suburbs of Detroit to the Pacific Northwest, an area where the presence of Native Americans seemed much more evident. I was fascinated by the idea that very different peoples had lived in the area in the not too distant past, and that their descendants were still living nearby. But it wasn't until I got to Yucatan that the penny dropped and I grasped, really and truly, that when Columbus landed he had stumbled across an entire...

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Books by this Author

Books by Charles C. Mann at BookBrowse
The Wizard and the Prophet jacket 1493 jacket 1491 jacket
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Readalikes

All the books below are recommended as readalikes for Charles C. Mann but some maybe more relevant to you than others depending on which books by the author you have read and enjoyed. So look for the suggested read-alikes by title linked on the right.
How we choose readalikes

  • Jacques Barzun

    Jacques Barzun

    Born in France on November 30 1907, historian Jacques Barzun came to the United States in 1920. After graduating from Columbia College, he joined the faculty of the university, becoming Seth Low Professor of History and, for ... (more)

    If you enjoyed:
    1491

    Try:
    From Dawn To Decadence
    by Jacques Barzun

  • Laurence Bergreen

    Laurence Bergreen

    Laurence Bergreen is the bestselling author of Over the Edge of the World: Magellan's Terrifying Circumnavigation of the Globe. His other books include Columbus: The Four Voyages, 1492–1504; Marco Polo: From Venice to ... (more)

    If you enjoyed:
    1491

    Try:
    In Search of a Kingdom
    by Laurence Bergreen

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