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Om forfatteren

Charles C. Mann is a correspondent for The Atlantic Monthly, Science, and Wired. He has also written for Fortune, The New York Times, Smithsonian, Technology Review, Vanity Fair, The Washington Post, the television network HBO, and the television series Law and Order. He has received writing awards vis mere from the American Bar Association, the American Institute of Physics, the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation, and the Lannan Foundation. He has written or co-written several books including The Second Creation: Makers of the Revolution in 20th-Century Physics, The Aspirin Wars: Money, Medicine, and 100 Years of Rampant Competition, Noah's Choice: The Future of Endangered Species, At Large: The Strange Case of the Internet's Biggest Invasion, and 1493: Uncovering the New World Columbus Created which made The New York Times Best Seller List for 2012. His book, 1491, won the National Academies Communication Award for the best book of the year. (Bowker Author Biography) vis mindre
Image credit: Photo: J.D. Sloan

Værker af Charles C. Mann

Associated Works

The Best American Science Writing 2006 (2006) — Bidragyder — 263 eksemplarer, 3 anmeldelser
The Best American Science Writing 2003 (2003) — Bidragyder — 165 eksemplarer, 1 anmeldelse
The Best American Science and Nature Writing 2016 (2016) — Bidragyder — 130 eksemplarer, 3 anmeldelser
The Best American Science Writing 2012 (2012) — Bidragyder — 91 eksemplarer, 3 anmeldelser
The Best American Magazine Writing 2013 (2013) — Bidragyder — 42 eksemplarer
National Geographic Magazine 2015 v227 #5 May (2015) — Bidragyder — 15 eksemplarer
National Geographic Magazine 2016 v229 #1 January (2016) — Bidragyder — 14 eksemplarer

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1491 i Dewey Decimal Challenge (marts 2013)


This book wound up on my TBR list because while I can remember when the agronomist Norman Borlaug was something of a celebrity (winning a Nobel Prize will do that for you), the pioneering environmentalist William Vogt didn't ring any bells with me (committing suicide just before your ideas reach critical mass with the public doesn't help). Besides being a dual life of these two men, Charles Mann is using the positions that they came to be avatars of, "techno-optimism" (Borlaug) versus that the Earth is a closed system that imposes a hard cap on human society (Vogt), as the place markers to consider what the real options for human society are in terms of staving off the "long emergency" of climate change. As a father Mann is very interested in this question.

Early on in this book Mann admits that his position has changed over the years, from being something of a true believer in the "limits to growth," to being a restrained techno-optimist. He's been influenced on this journey by two thinkers that are probably more important than Borlaug and Vogt. The late biologist Lynn Margulis on one hand, and the analyst and historian of technology Vaclav Smil on the other, both holders of rather bracing personal outlooks; Margulis saw no reason to assume that human evolutionary fitness was any better than any other species (and that our time would come like it does for all living things), and Smil holding that the practical realities of technological innovation means that there are no guarantees a "silver bullet" will arrive in time to deal with moving away from powering society on fossil fuels (in the meantime try practicing a little personal restraint).

Working through the lives of Borlaug & Vogt, and examining the basic elements of the grand processes of the system (broadly food, freshwater, energy, and climate), Mann does convince himself that there are some grounds for optimism, but with a lot of caveats. Perhaps the most striking conclusion that he comes to is that the over-enthusiastic implementation of Vogt's concepts have lead to demographic disasters. At a certain point Vogt became captured by the sort of eugenic thinking that turned "eliminationist" towards those people who upper-class bigots saw as expendable, and led to millions of people being unnecessarily sterilized, and the demographic bind (to use the most salient example) that Chinese society now finds itself facing. Mann concluding that there is little direct link between pollution and/or economic growth and population growth.

Going forward, and having become more acutely aware of social and cultural issues in terms of promoting economic and social change, Mann admits that there's just the patient work of education, of which this book is his contribution.
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Shrike58 | 19 andre anmeldelser | Jun 29, 2024 |
Today we live in a globalized society that some accept and attempt to enter while others fight against to save their local culture and way of life, but what if it turns out our global society hasn’t just happened but been around since a man called Columbus arrived in the Caribbean? 1493: Uncovering the New World Columbus Created by Charles C. Mann is the follow up to his previous bestseller 1491 in which he shows the changes around the world that the ‘Columbian Exchange’ created.

Mann argues that Columbus, referenced as Colón based on untranslated surname, created the path to the homogenocene—the global homogenization of (agricultural) species, diseases, and tools brought about by the migration and transport that set in with the discovery of the new world. This homogenization includes “invasive species” that the modern world relies on for food and has allowed for the number of humans living on the planet. Throughout the book Mann not only studies the environmental impact of this global exchange but also the impact on humanity through food, diseases, migration (both voluntary and the slave trade), and on society. While much of the “story” of history of the Americas after Columbus focuses on Europeans, it turns out Africans were way more impactful not only in the future United States but everything south of the Rio Grande especially as Europeans were vastly outnumbered by Africans and their descendants for centuries. Mann brings out the history of Indian, African, and Asian populations in the Americas that created the Western Hemisphere a melting pot way before it became associated with the U.S., but also how Africans and Indians banded together against Europeans to create mixed societies or allied societies that main life difficult for colonial masters. Through 521 pages, Mann explores how one voyage created the world we live in today and ramifications everyone has had to deal with for over half a millennium.

1493 can be read after or independently of Charles C. Mann’s 1491, it is full of facts that are communicated well with connected with one another in a very understandable way that makes to see today’s world and history in a new way.
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mattries37315 | 66 andre anmeldelser | May 31, 2024 |
yes, we're a well traveled bunch. clash of civilizations - mostly boring.
farrhon | 66 andre anmeldelser | Apr 30, 2024 |
The abridged audio of this (11 1/4 hours on 9 CD's) is read by Peter Johnson.

You thought everyone that was in America before Columbus came from Asia, arriving via a trek across the Bering Straight, that American Indians learned about land development from Europeans, and that relatively few American Indians ever lived on this continent prior to the arrival of Columbus? Charles C. Mann tells us about the new generation of researchers who assert that these teachings and others are Myths—that the American Indians arrived long before glaciers melted to reveal a land bridge, that untold numbers of Indians probably died from diseases brought over by the Europeans and their livestock, and that the “wild” landscape Thoreau lamented man’s invasion of, was itself engineered by man.
At any rate, this is an interesting description of the ways that America’s past has become a controversial issue.
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TraSea | 198 andre anmeldelser | Apr 29, 2024 |



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