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  • Innovation+Leadership, 2/21 - a look at our planet's future with Charles C.Mann

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    January 23, 2018
    the bestselling, award-winning author of 1491 and 1493
    with his newest book
    Two Remarkable Scientists and Their
    Dueling Visions to Shape Tomorrow’s World
    As seen in THE ATLANTIC and WIRED magazine
    An essential guide to the most urgent debate of our time
    Wednesday, February 21, 7pm
    “Brilliant....a treasure house of knowledge....indispensable.” - The Wall Street Journal
    “Veteran journalist Charles C. Mann specializes in deep, comprehensive looks at the past that better elucidate the present. San Francisco Chronicle
    “Like Elizabeth Kolbert and Tim Flannery, Charles C. Mann is one of the masters of this art . . . a stimulating, thoughtful, balanced overview of matters vital to us all.” —The Boston Globe
    Portsmouth, New Hampshire, January 23 - On Wednesday, February 21, award-winning and bestselling writer Charles C. Mann visits The Music Hall as part of its Innovation + Leadership series to speak about his latest project, THE WIZARD AND THE PROPHET: Two Remarkable Scientists and Their Dueling Visions to Shape Tomorrow’s World. In the book, Mann profiles two little-known twentieth-century scientists, Norman Borlaug and William Vogt, whose opposing views shaped our ideas about the environment, laying the groundwork for how people in the twenty-first century will choose to live in tomorrow's world specifically, when Earth’s population reaches 10 billion.
    The 7pm event includes an author presentation and moderated Q+A, plus a post-event book signing and meet-and-greet. It will be held at The Music Hall Loft at 131 Congress St., in downtown Portsmouth, New Hampshire. Each ticket purchased will include a reserved seat and copy of THE WIZARD AND THE PROPHET.
    “THE WIZARD AND THE PROPHET looks at how Earth might cope when its population reaches 10 billion. This jump is happening sooner than you think — 2050, according to brilliant journalist Charles C. Mann,” said Patricia Lynch, Executive Director of The Music Hall, who is moderating the event. “Equally an historian, Mann presents the history of science and scientists in overpopulation and shows how transformative innovations can lead us forward vs. ‘doomsday’ thinking, which often leads to shocking policies. This conversation will be fascinating, inspiring, and very much of the moment,” added Lynch.
    In forty years, Earth’s population will reach ten billion. Can our world support that? What kind of world will it be?
    Those answering these urgent questions generally fall into two deeply divided groups, says journalist-author Charles Mann. The “Wizards” follow Norman Borlaug’s belief that the solution to our most pressing problems is continual innovation, while the “Prophets” embrace William Vogt’s mantra — that we must use fewer of the earth’s resources and cut back.
    In his new work, this bestselling, award-winning writer offers an incisive portrait of these two groups and the little-known twentieth-century scientists who inspired them. Using the  framework of diverging viewpoints, Mann assesses the four great challenges humanity faces—food, clean water, energy, and climate change. With insightful analysis, he grounds each issue in historical context, reports from the front lines, and examines a variety of possible solutions around the globe.
    THE WIZARD AND THE PROPHET is an essential guide to the most urgent debate of our time, providing an overview of the choices humanity will have to make in the coming decades.
    Charles C. Mann, a correspondent for The Atlantic, Science, and Wired, has also written for Fortune, The New York Times, Smithsonian, Technology Review, Vanity Fair, and The Washington Post, as well as for the TV network HBO and the series Law & Order. A three-time National Magazine Award finalist, he is the recipient of writing awards from the American Bar Association, the American Institute of Physics, the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation, and the Lannan Foundation. His book 1491 won the National Academies Communication Award for the best book of the year.
    Tickets for Innovation and Leadership: Charles C. Mann on Wednesday, February 21, at 7:00pm are $43 ($42 for members) and include an autographed copy of THE WIZARD AND THE PROPHET ($28.95), bar beverage, author presentation, Q+A and book signing meet-and-greet. Packages can be purchased online at TheMusicHall.org, over the phone at 603.436.2400 or in person at the B2W Box Office at the Historic Theater, 28 Chestnut Street.
    For further information, or to request an author interview, please contact: Margaret Talcott, Producer, The Music Hall, at mtalcott@themusichall.org or Patricia Lynch, Executive Producer, at plynch@themusichall.org
    About Innovation and Leadership
    In this Age of Participation, The Music Hall has expanded its programming to focus on issues critical to our time. The Innovation and Leadership series was first launched nearly five years ago to serve our local business community, bringing together the best and the brightest in technology.  The series has since broadened to showcase opinion leaders, authors and all variety of educators, and to serve audiences from a tri-state region and beyond – all who are interested in bettering the worlds they live in, at work and at home, locally and around the world. These lively and informative conversations feature experts in their field sharing experiences and providing participants practical tools for making meaningful advances in their lives.  From demonstrations in the art of all things digital to special forums featuring regional and global leaders in sustainability, from book discussion-demonstrations on the positive effect of meditation to awareness-raising events led by today’s champions in philanthropy, feminism and family matters, each Innovation and Leadership event is memorable and impactful.  The Music Hall is committed to community building and personal flourishing. Our Innovation and Leadership series delivers on that commitment.
    Presenting Sponsor: ALNÔBA
    Series Sponsor: Petersen Engineering
    Season Sponsors: Carey & Giampa Realtors; Portwalk Place; The River House restaurant
    Contributing Partner: University of New Hampshire
    “THE WIZARD AND THE PROPHET is an intellectual history of the clash between techno-optimists and environmentalists, but it’s also the very personal story of two thinkers, Norman Borlaug and William Vogt. … This book showcases an important new kind of futurism, which looks to the past to understand how we’ll survive. Never preachy nor dogmatic, Mann asks his readers to do the most difficult thing possible: choose a path to a better world, by consulting your own conscience.” —Annalee Newitz, editor, Ars Technica
    “As Mann profiles, with verve and infectious fascination, both brilliant, questing men, he places their extraordinary adventures and achievements within a dynamically detailed, global scientific and geopolitical context...This unique, encompassing, clarifying, engrossing, inquisitive, and caring work of multifaceted research, synthesis, and analysis humanizes the challenges and contradictions of modern environmentalism and our struggle towards a viable future.”—Booklist, starred review
    THE WIZARD AND THE PROPHET is a fascinating portrait of two men who probably shaped your thinking about the future, whether you realize it or not. Charles Mann proves, once again, a masterful storyteller."Elizabeth Kolbert, author of The Sixth Extinction
    “A rich, elegant, ferociously readable study of our global quandary. Among the many excellent things Charles C. Mann does in THE WIZARD AND THE PROPHET is give us a fresh, and wholly unexpected, way of understanding today’s political divide.” —Russell Shorto, author of Revolution Song
    “A fresh, wryly written guide to the challenges of this century and the next, a remarkably honest book that makes no predictions but simply outlines the challenges and opportunities that lie ahead.” —Mark Bittman, author of How to Cook Everything
    “Best-selling author and journalist Mann tackles the thorny problem of humankind’s future through the lens of two 20th-century visionaries. . . . A sweeping, provocative work of journalism, history, science and philosophy.” Library Journal starred review
    “The contrast is stark—technological wizardry or romantic prophecy as a lens to view the future path for the planet and humanity. Charles Mann provides a deeply corrugated, richly nuanced, and highly entertaining narrative to make sense of the most consequential decisions facing civilization. Read, think, and enjoy.” —Ruth deFries, author of The Big Ratchet: How Humanity Thrives in the Face of Natural Crisis
    “Mann's most spectacular accomplishment is to take no sides. Readers will thrill to the wizards’ astounding advances and believe the prophets' gloomy forecasts, and they will also discover that technological miracles produce nasty side effects and that self-sacrifice, as prophets urge, has proven contrary to human nature. An insightful, highly significant account that makes no predictions but lays out the critical environmental problems already upon us.” —Kirkus, starred review
    “Veteran journalist Charles C. Mann specializes in deep, comprehensive looks at the past that better elucidate the present. His best-selling books 1491 and 1493 both rediscover the “discovery” of the Americas and make important contributions to our collective self-knowledge. In THE WIZARD AND THE PROPHET, Mann once again produces a highly readable, historical tome.”—Mary Ellen Hannibal, San Francisco Chronicle
    “Mann straightforwardly states that this book does not provide “a blueprint for tomorrow.” Rather, it’s an account of difficulties facing humans and ways to approach them...Without taking sides, Mann delivers a fine examination of two possible paths to a livable future.” —Publisher’s Weekly, starred review
    “Brilliantly conceived and executed, Charles Mann’s THE WIZARD AND THE PROPHET is the book I have long awaited—thoughtful, balanced and unbiased—to understand the challenges that humanity will face as the twenty-first century progresses. Mann’s historical perspective provides the critically important context for us to understand how we got here and how we might solve the problems presented by a finite world of ten billion humans.”—Gary Taubes, author of The Case Against Sugar
    “The most persuasive writers on the environment punctuate their big-picture theses with telling details that bring the relevant issues to life. Like Elizabeth Kolbert and Tim Flannery, Charles C. Mann is one of the masters of this art . . . a stimulating, thoughtful, balanced overview of matters vital to us all. —Dan Cryer, The Boston Globe
    PRAISE for 1493
    “Fascinating. . . . Lively. . . . A convincing explanation of why our world is the way it is.” —The New York Times Book Review
    “Even the wisest readers will find many surprises here. . . . Like 1491, Mann’s sequel will change worldviews.” —San Francisco Chronicle
    “Exemplary in its union of meaningful fact with good storytelling, 1493 ranges across continents and centuries to explain how the world we inhabit came to be.” —The Washington Post
    “Engaging . . . Mann deftly illuminates contradictions on a human scale: the blind violence and terror at Jamestown, the cruel exploitation of labor in the silver mines of Bolivia, the awe felt by Europeans upon first seeing a rubber ball bounce.” —The New Yorker
    “Revelatory.” —Lev Grossman, Time Magazine
    “A muscular, densely documented follow-up [to Mann’s 1491]. . . Like its predecessor, 1493 runs to more than 400 pages, but it moves at a gallop. . . As a historian Mann should be admired not just for his broad scope and restless intelligence but for his biological sensitivity. At every point of his tale he keeps foremost in his mind the effect of humans’ activities on the broader environment they inhabit.” —The Wall Street Journal
    “In the wake of his groundbreaking book 1491 Charles Mann has once again produced a brilliant and riveting work that will forever change the way we see the world. Mann shows how the ecological collision of Europe and the Americas transformed virtually every aspect of human history. Beautifully written, and packed with startling research, 1493 is a monumental achievement.” —David Grann, author of The Lost City of Z
    PRAISE for 1491
    “A journalistic masterpiece.” —The New York Review of Books
    “Marvelous. . . . A sweeping portrait of human life in the Americas before the arrival of Columbus. . . . A remarkably engaging writer.” —The New York Times Book Review
    “Fascinating. . . . A landmark of a book that drops ingrained images of colonial American into the dustbin, one after the other.” —The Boston Globe
    “A ripping, man-on-the-ground tour of a world most of us barely intuit. . . . An exhilarating shift in perspective. . . . 1491 erases our myth of a wilderness Eden. It replaces that fallacy with evidence of a different genesis, exciting and closer to true.”—The Cleveland Plain Dealer
    “Mann tells a powerful, provocative and important story. . . . 1491 vividly compels us to re-examine how we teach the ancient history of the Americas and how we live with the environmental consequences of colonization.” —The Washington Post Book World
    “Engagingly written and utterly absorbing. . . . Part detective story, part epic and part tragedy.” —The Miami Herald
    “Provocative. . . . A Jared Diamond-like volley that challenges prevailing thinking about global development. Mann has chronicled an important shift in our vision of world development, one out young children could end up studying in their text books when they reach junior high.” —San Francisco Chronicle
    “Monumental. . . . Mann slips in so many fresh, new interpretations of American history that it all adds up to a deeply subversive work.”—Salon
    “Concise and brilliantly entertaining. . . . Reminiscent of John McPhee’s eloquence with scientific detail.”—Los Angeles Times
    About The Music Hall
    The Music Hall is a performing arts center featuring curated entertainment from around the world in two theaters in its downtown Portsmouth, New Hampshire campus - one, a landmark 1878 Victorian theater, designated an American Treasure for the Arts by the National Park Service’s Save America's Treasures Program, the other the intimate Music Hall Loft around the corner, recently named "best performing arts venue" by Yankee Magazine and the recipient of the NH AIA award for design excellence.
    With acclaimed signature series including Writers on a New England Stage – a partnership between The Music Hall and New Hampshire Public Radio – and the Intimately Yours music series, we bring top authors and artists to both stages. Also, HD broadcasts from The Metropolitan Opera and the National Theatre of London as well as extraordinary cinema fill both screens almost every night of the year.
    This dynamic arts center urges patrons to Explore + Learn via master classes, post film panel discussions, and matinees for children. An anchor organization in this historic working seaport, The Music Hall is one of downtown Portsmouth’s biggest employers and largest contributors to the regional economy: The Music Hall and its patrons contribute $7.1 million annually to the local economy through show and visitor related spending.
    Innovative in its outlook, the organization is community oriented and committed to making the Seacoast flourish. The Music Hall is a 501(c)3 nonprofit managed by a professional staff with the assistance of a volunteer board. Though global in the scope of its artists and programs, The Music Hall operates independently with the support of 3,000 members, 300 corporate partners and 58 community partner organizations. Welcoming more than 100,000 patrons (including 20,000 children) each year from the tri-state area and beyond, The Music Hall is the region’s center for the performing arts, literature and education…easy to get to, impossible to forget.
    Web: www.TheMusicHall.org | Twitter: @MusicHall | Facebook: /musichall | YouTube: /musichallnh
    “The crown jewel of Portsmouth’s cultural scene”- Yankee Magazine
    “The beating cultural heart of New Hampshire's seacoast” - Boston Globe
    Margaret Talcott, Producer