Sunday, October 2, 2011

1493: A Reading & Talk with Charles Mann

Join us for a reading and discussion with local author Charles Mann about his new book 1493: Uncovering the New World Columbus Created this upcoming Thursday, October 27th at 7:00pm.

Mann's new book picks up where his previous work, 1491—the best-selling study of the pre-Columbian Americas— left off and presents a deeply engaging new history of the most momentous biological event since the death of the dinosaurs: what has come to be known as the Columbian Exchange.

As 1493 shows, the Columbian Exchange underlies much of subsequent human history. Presenting the latest research by ecologists, anthropologists, archaeologists, and historians, Mann shows how the creation of this worldwide network of ecological and economic exchange fostered the rise of Europe, devastated imperial China, convulsed Africa, and for two centuries made Mexico City—where Asia, Europe, and the new frontier of the Americas dynamically interacted—the center of the world. In such encounters, he uncovers the germ of today’s fiercest political disputes, from immigration to trade policy to culture wars.

"A fascinating survey... A lucid historical panorama that’s studded with entertaining studies of Chinese pirate fleets, courtly tobacco rituals, and the bloody feud between Jamestown colonists and the Indians who fed and fought them, to name a few. Brilliantly assembling colorful details into big-picture insights, Mann’s fresh challenge to Eurocentric histories puts interdependence at the origin of modernity." --Starred review, Publishers Weekly

This event is co-sponsored by Food For Thought Books Collective and The Environmental Studies Program of Amherst College.


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