Published: 6 September 2012
Paperback, B Format
129x198mm, 720 pages
How Europe's Discovery of the Americas Revolutionized Trade, Ecology and Life on Earth
Two hundred million years ago the earth consisted of a single vast continent, Pangea, surrounded by a great planetary sea. Continental drift tore apart Pangaea, and for millennia the hemispheres were separate, evolving almost entirely different suites of plants and animals. Columbus's arrival in the Americas brought together these long-separate worlds. Many historians believe that this collision of ecosystems and cultures - the Columbian Exchange - was the most consequential event in human history since the Neolithic Revolution. And it was the most consequential event in biological history since the extinction of the dinosaurs.
Beginning with the world of microbes and moving up the species ladder to mankind, Mann rivetingly describes the profound effect this exchanging of species had on the culture of both continents.
‘Mann's study is almost global in its sweep and size’
‘Journalist Charles Mann chronicles how Christopher Columbus' second New World expedition in 1493 triggered a global upheaval ... Drawing on new research, Mann reframes the past 500 years to riveting effect’
‘Almost mind-boggling in its scope, enthusiasm and erudition [it] is a history of globalisation before the term had been invented ... Ranging freely across time and space, Mann's book is full of compelling stories ... A tremendously provocative, learned and surprising read’ Dominic Sandbrook
‘Erudite and eye-opening history reveals how Europe's discovery of the Americas revolutionised life on earth’
‘Charles Mann gives us the version of the Columbian outcome that our era calls for’ Timothy Brook
‘1493 soars with majestic ambition’
‘1492 was the Year Zero of globalisation, and 1493 was Year One ... It has been a thrilling and frequently catastrophic ride for humankind ever since, and science writer Charles C Mann's excitement never flags as he tells his breathtaking story’
‘Cheerfully eclectic rather than doctrinaire... The value of 1493 stems from its lively and diligent accounts of the course of history’ Robin Blackburn