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.
Best-selling author Charles C. Mann to speak on campusHis books "1491" and "1493" have challenged common assumptions about Western history
Best-selling author Charles C. Mann, whose newest book "1493: Rediscovering the New World Columbus Created" is currently the second best-selling History Book on Amazon, will speak at University of the Pacific at 6 p.m. Nov. 2. His lecture will be in the Janet Leigh Theatre and is free and open to the public.
Mann's previous book, "1491," won the U.S. National Academy of Science's Keck Award for "best book of the year." In both books, Mann argues that research clearly shows that the colonization of the American continents is still having a significant environmental and cultural impact on the world. He also warns that the lessons about the nature of Native Americans and other indigenous peoples in the Western hemisphere that are taught in public schools are often wrong.
Mann's new book, 1493, makes several references to the path-breaking work in international silver trading of Pacific's Dr. Dennis Flynn, of Economics, and Dr. Arturo Giraldez, of Modern Languages and the School of International Studies. At one point Mann refers to Flynn and Giraldez as "the sliver trade's most prominent historians."
"Mann's work is a great example of why anthropologists and historians constantly review what is considered to be common knowledge. These stories change as scholars do more research and use more advanced research techniques. Mann's work helps us question long held assumptions," said Cynthia Wagner Weick, dean of the School of International Studies, the sponsor of the event. "The school is eager to bring Mann to campus to learn about his perspective on history as well as his approaches to exploring different cultures and their impacts on the globe."
Mann is a correspondent for The Atlantic Monthly, Science, and Wired. He reports on science, technology and commerce and has also written articles for BioScience, The Boston Globe, Fortune, The New York Times, Paris-Match (France), Quark (Japan), Der Stern (Germany), Vanity Fair, The Washington Post, and numerous other publications around the globe.
In addition to 1491, he has co-written "The Second Creation: Makers of the Revolution in 20th-Century Physics," "The Aspirin Wars: Money, Medicine, and 100 Years of Rampant Competition," "Noah's Choice: The Future of Endangered Species," and "@ Large: The Strange Case of the Internet's Biggest Invasion." He also has written for CD-ROMs, HBO, and the television show "Law and Order." A three-time National Magazine Award finalist, he has received writing awards from the American Bar Association, the American Institute of Physics, the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation, the Margaret Sanger Foundation and the Lannan Foundation.
During his visit to campus, Mann also will speak to numerous classes as well as students in the Powell Scholars Program, Pacific's top merit scholarship program.
Some of Mann's books will be on sale at the lecture and Mann will sign the books after his talk. For more information about Mann, visit his website at http://charlesmann.org/. For more information about the School of International Studies, visit http://www.pacific.edu/Academics/Schools-and-Colleges/School-of-International-Studies.html.