How Europe's Discovery of the Americas Revolutionized Trade, Ecology and Life on Earth

Charles C. Mann

Published: 6 September 2012
Paperback, B Format
129x198mm, 720 pages
ISBN: 9781847082459


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.

About the author

Image of Charles C. Mann

Charles Mann is the co-author of four previous books, including The Second Creation: Makers of the Revolution in 20th-Century Physics and Noah's Choice: The Future of Endangered Species. He is a correspondent for the Atlantic Monthly and Science magazines, and editorial coordinator for the internationally best-selling Material World books. He lives in Massachusetts. More about the author


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’

‘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

‘Charles Mann gives us the version of the Columbian outcome that our era calls for’ Timothy Brook

‘Cheerfully eclectic rather than doctrinaire... The value of 1493 stems from its lively and diligent accounts of the course of history’ Robin Blackburn

‘Erudite and eye-opening history reveals how Europe's discovery of the Americas revolutionised life on earth’

‘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’

‘Mann's study is almost global in its sweep and size’

Mind Unit - websites, content management and email marketing for the arts