May 17, 2012 – SALT LAKE CITY - Consider a world where Hawaii is void of pineapples, Italy lacks tomatoes, and chocolate never made its way to Europe.
While some of the impacts Christopher Columbus’ famous 1492 voyage to the New World had on native populations are widely known, the ecological, economic and environmental influences extend far beyond what is taught traditionally in classrooms.
On May 31 at 7pm, Charles C. Mann, author of 1493: Uncovering the New World Columbus Created will speak at Salt Lake City Public Library to discuss what he calls “the greatest event in the history of life since the death of the dinosaurs.”
Columbus’ arrival in the New World made way for the Columbian Exchange, an anthropological and ecological exchange that framed history from that point forward, and radically transformed European, American, African and Asian ways of life. It marked the widespread exchange of everything from plants and animals to human beings, ideas, and disease. It is the foundation for the loss of nearly 2/3 of the native population in the Americas at that time, the underlying factor in the Irish Potato Famine and a major contributor to the rise of the West and collapse of China.
Mann has been a contributing writer and editor for numerous publications, including The Atlantic Monthly, Wired, Science, and Vanity Fair. His book 1491: New Revelations of the Americas Before Columbus won the U.S. National Academy of Sciences’ Keck award for best book of the year.
Join Mann as he speaks at The City Library, May 31, 7pm in the Main Library Auditorium. This event is sponsored by The City Library, Friends of the City Library, The Tanner Humanities Center at the University of Utah, the Osher Institute of Lifelong Learning, and the Utah League of Women Voters.
For more information, visit http://slcpl.org/events/view/1172.