Author Presents Controversial History Study
The true history of the Americas is not what we learned in school,
claims author and journalist Charles C. Mann in his non-fiction book 1491: New Revelations of the Americas Before Columbus.
Mann discusses his controversial and groundbreaking study of the early Americas at 8 p.m. Monday, Nov. 12 in the Remick Heritage Center at Alma College. Admission is free and open to the public.
“Mann’s presence on campus will stimulate a lot of discussion,” says Jim Mueller, professor at Alma College. “This is an excellent event for the curious of mind who want to learn more about the world and its history.”
Charles C. Mann
Published in 2005, 1491
discusses the origins, populations, culture and environment of the
Americas prior to the Spaniards’ arrival in 1492. However, what Mann
discovered in his years of research is not the traditional version of
history most people were taught.
Like a growing number of scientists, Mann believes that humans first arrived in the Americas more than 3,000 years before the Paleo-Indian Clovis population, commonly thought to be the land’s original inhabitants dating back 13,500 years.
“A large part of the controversy regards when the first humans arrived and lived on our continent,” says Mueller. “It was much earlier than most people think—close to 17,000 years ago.”
Mann also asserts that the pre-Columbian population was significantly more populous than traditional estimates and challenges the idea that pre-Columbian cultures had little impact on their environment. He points out, for example, that Indians grew and bred maize “from scratch” with an intricate system of planting on milpas, used calendars and created or developed other complex technologies.
Mann is a correspondent for The Atlantic Monthly and Science and has co-written four previous books. He also has written for a variety of other newspapers and magazines, CD-ROMs, Home Box Office, and the hit television show “Law and Order.”
A three-time National Magazine Award finalist and winner of the U.S. National Academy of Sciences’ Keck Award for best book of the year (1491), Mann also has won awards from the American Bar Association, the Margaret Sanger Foundation, the American Institute of Physics, and the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation, amongst others.
His writing was selected for “The Best American Science Writing 2003” and “The Best American Science and Nature Writing 2003.” He is currently working on a companion volume to 1491.
Mann’s talk is sponsored by the College’s Center for Responsible Leadership.
Posted: Thu, November 1st, 2007 at 8:06AM