Patt Morrison for September 26, 2011

1493 – When worlds collided

Minnesota Historical Society/Flickr (cc by-nc-nd)

The new world.

Though populated by numerous indigenous peoples, the pre-Columbian “new world” was geographically isolated from more advanced European civilization.

For 200 million years prior to Columbus’ famous expedition in 1492, the Americas had completely different flora and fauna from the rest of the world. Charles C. Mann’s new book, 1493, chronicles the “ecological imperialism” of European conquests. Using DNA testing, mathematical simulations and other modern technological tools, Mann explores the monumental biological, ecological, political and social changes that exploration and colonization had on both continents.


What happens when non-indigenous species, customs and ideas arrive in a new ecosystem? Which changes more, the colonized or colonizers?


Charles C. Mann, author, “1493”; his book “1491” received the U.S. National Academy of Sciences' Keck Award for best book of the year

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