The Sixth Extinction: An Unnatural History by Elizabeth Kolbert

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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The 251st greatest nonfiction book of all time

This book is on the following lists:

  1. - 15th on The 100 best books of the 21st century (The Guardian)
  2. - Pulitzer Prize for Non-Fiction (Pulitzer Prize)
  3. - The 100 Best Nonfiction Books of All Time (The Guardian)

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Name Binding Sales Rank Lowest New Lowest Used Published
The Sixth Extinction: An Unnatural History Hardcover 22808 $12.00 $8.00 2014
The Sixth Extinction: An Unnatural History Audible Audio Edition 1 $20.95 2014
Sixth Extinction An Unnatural History Paperback 1162252 $17.28 $3.95
The Sixth Extinction Audio CD 9540 $18.94 $22.27 2014
The Sixth Extinction: An Unnatural History Kindle Edition 142 $12.74 2014
The Sixth Extinction: An Unnatural History Paperback 2248 $5.04 $4.37 2015