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Chats with Champions Welcomes Doug Preston

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Doug Preston
New York Times best-selling author of The Lost City of the Monkey God
Tuesday, September 5 at 10am
Porter Hall
Since the days of conquistador Hernan Cortes, rumors have circulated about an ancient White City of immense wealth hidden in the Honduran interior. Indigenous tribes spoke of ancestors who had fled there to escape the Spanish, warning that anyone who disturbs this sacred city will fall ill and die. Myths of treasure and every imaginable curse run rampant–but the fact that the city existed somewhere out in the jungles of Mosquitia, was widely accepted by Hondurans.  
 
In 1940, swashbuckling journalist Theodore Morde returned from the jungle with hundreds of artifacts and tantalizing stories of having seen the crumbling walls of the Lost City of the Monkey God for himself. Soon after, he committed suicide without revealing its mysterious location.
Three-quarters of a century later, Doug Preston climbed aboard a rickety, single-engine plane carrying a machine that would change everything: LiDAR (Light Detection and Ranging), an expensive laser technology on loan from NASA that could map the terrain under the dense rainforest canopy to a resolution within three feet. That flight revealed for the first time an unmistakable image of a sprawling metropolis, tantalizing proof of not just the mythical city but an entire lost civilization – contemporaries of, but distinct from the Mayans. His first-hand account of the discovery of this previously unknown civilization is not only riveting in and of itself, but also profound in its implications for the past, present, and future of Central America.
 
Doug Preston grew up in Wellesley, Massachusetts and attended Pomona College in Claremont, California, where he studied mathematics, biology, physics, anthropology, chemistry, geology, and astronomy before settling down to English literature. After graduating, Preston began his career at the American Museum of Natural History in New York where he worked as a writer, editor and eventually manager of publications. Preston also taught nonfiction writing at Princeton University and served as managing editor of Curator, a journal for museum professionals. He has written for The New Yorker, Natural History, National Geographic, Harper’s, Smithsonian, and The Atlantic.
 
The author of several acclaimed nonfiction books-including the bestsellerThe Monster of Florence, Preston is also the co-author with Lincoln Child of the bestselling series of novels featuring FBI agent Pendergast. Preston has published a number of solo novels, including Tyrannosaur CanyonBlasphemy, and Impact.