The Sixth Extinction: An Unnatural History

by Henry Holt Company

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Description

  • Henry Holt Company
  • WINNER OF THE PULITZER PRIZE
    ONE OF THE NEW YORK TIMES BOOK REVIEW'S 10 BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR
    A NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER
    A NATIONAL BOOK CRITICS CIRCLE AWARD FINALIST

    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.

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