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Publisher Description


A major book about the future of the world, blending intellectual and natural history and field reporting into a powerful account of the mass extinction unfolding before our eyes

Over the last half a billion years, there have been five mass extinctions, when the diversity of life on earth suddenly and dramatically contracted. Scientists around the world are currently monitoring the sixth extinction, predicted to be the most devastating extinction event since the asteroid impact that wiped out the dinosaurs. This time around, the cataclysm is us.

In The Sixth Extinction, two-time winner of the National Magazine Award and New Yorker writer Elizabeth Kolbert draws on the work of scores of researchers in half a dozen disciplines, accompanying many of them into the field: geologists who study deep ocean cores, botanists who follow the tree line as it climbs up the Andes, marine biologists who dive off the Great Barrier Reef. She introduces us to a dozen species, some already gone, others facing extinction, including the Panamian golden frog, staghorn coral, the great auk, and the Sumatran rhino.

Through these stories, Kolbert provides a moving account of the disappearances occurring all around us and traces the evolution of extinction as concept, from its first articulation by Georges Cuvier in revolutionary Paris up through the present day. The sixth extinction is likely to be mankind's most lasting legacy; as Kolbert observes, it compels us to rethink the fundamental question of what it means to be human.

Science & Nature
February 11
Henry Holt and Co.

Customer Reviews

Gumshoe Sticky ,

The sixth extinction

Excellent mind wrapper about the nature of this the extinction caused by humans. With the demise of flora and fauna oddly there next to nothing about stopping the human catastrophe.

mikeytap ,

The most important read ever

We have a lot of work to do, but I know we can do it. Let’s change this world for the better, together!

Wat a sucky written review ,

What enjoyment I had reading your novel

I enjoyed reading your novel very much out was very in detain in the discriptions and experiment details that once I started reading it it starting becoming that much more interesting that I count put it down it took me three to four days to read since I read it in between my day dreams and my work habits that it was on my mind almost every second this book was suggested on Facebook from one of my contacts that I have on my Facebook friends all they said was they read it so I'm saying I read it and would like to read more by this author in the future it had a firm grip on the reader from begging to end not like one of those books that's starts of boring from the begging and ends up being boring at the end the middle is a whole mother story but my favorite parto of f this book was the part when you were explaining the diversity side of extinction how the effects aren't just man made but also made by nature or a introduced species it was that good I'm glad to have payed for this book is rather have found it in the library but paying for it through iTunes means I can refer to it if I choose to for any referance to depicted references that I may look forward to in the future or even past present ordeals hahahaha but it was good I liked it a lot two thumbs

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