The Sixth Extinction: An Unnatural History

By Elizabeth Kolbert
Read by Anne Twomey

9.98 Hours 02/11/2014 unabridged
Format: Digital Download (In Stock)
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    ISBN: 9781442369467

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WINNER OF THE PULITZER PRIZE From the author of Field Notes from a Catastrophe, a powerful and important work about the future of the world, blending intellectual and natural history and field reporting into a compelling 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. The Sixth Extinction draws on the work of scores of researchers in half a dozen disciplines–geologists who study deep ocean cores, botanists who follow the tree line as it climbs up the Andes, and marine biologists who dive off the Great Barrier Reef. Elizabeth Kolbert, two-time winner of the National Magazine Award and New Yorker writer, accompanies many of these researchers into the field, and introduces you to a dozen species–some already gone, others facing extinction–that are being affected by the sixth extinction. 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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Summary

Summary

Winner of the 2015 Pulitzer Prize for General Nonfiction

Winner of the 2015 Los Angeles Times Book Prize for Science and Technology

A New York Times bestseller

A 2014 New York Times Notable Book

A Washington Post Top 10 Book of 2014

One of the New York Magazine Top 10 Books of 2014

Longlisted for the 2015 PEN Literary Award

Finalist for the 2016 Kirkus Prize

A Library Journal Best Book of 2014

One of Kirkus Reviews’ Best Books of 2014

One of Audible’s Best Audiobooks of 2014: Science and Technology

A Publishers Weekly Pick of the Week, February 2014

WINNER OF THE PULITZER PRIZE
From the author of Field Notes from a Catastrophe, a powerful and important work about the future of the world, blending intellectual and natural history and field reporting into a compelling 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.

The Sixth Extinction draws on the work of scores of researchers in half a dozen disciplines–geologists who study deep ocean cores, botanists who follow the tree line as it climbs up the Andes, and marine biologists who dive off the Great Barrier Reef. Elizabeth Kolbert, two-time winner of the National Magazine Award and New Yorker writer, accompanies many of these researchers into the field, and introduces you to a dozen species–some already gone, others facing extinction–that are being affected by the sixth extinction.

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.

Editorial Reviews

Editorial Reviews

“Her extensive travels in researching this book and her insightful treatment of both the history and the science all combine to make The Sixth Extinction an invaluable contribution to our understanding of present circumstances, just as the paradigm shift she calls for is sorely needed.” New York Times Book Review
“What’s exceptional about Kolbert’s writing is the combination of scientific rigor and wry humor that keeps you turning the pages.” National Geographic
"[Kolbert] grounds her stories in rigorous science and memorable characters past and present, building a case that a mass extinction is underway, whether we want to admit it or not.” Discover magazine
“A fascinating and frightening excursion into how humans are bringing about their own demise…The Sixth Extinction is a bold and at times desperate attempt to awaken us to this responsibility.” Washington Post
“Surprisingly breezy, entirely engrossing, and frequently entertaining…Kolbert is a masterful, thought-provoking reporter.” Boston Globe
“Thorough and fascinating…Kolbert is an economical and deft explainer of the technical and about as intrepid a reporter as they come…Her reporting is meticulous.” Harper’s
“Superbly blends the depressing facts associated with rampant species extinctions and impending ecosystem collapse with stellar writing to produce a text that is accessible, witty, scientifically accurate, and impossible to put down.” Publishers Weekly (starred review)
“A deft examination of the startling losses of the sixth mass extinction occurring at this moment and the sobering, underlying cause: humans…A highly significant eye-opener.” Kirkus Reviews (starred review)
“Rendered with rare, resolute, and resounding clarity, Kolbert’s compelling and enlightening report forthrightly addresses the most significant topic of our lives.” Booklist (starred review)
“Powerful…Kolbert expertly traces the ‘twisting’ intellectual history of how we’ve come to understand the concept of extinction and, more recently, how we’ve come to recognize our role in it…An invaluable contribution to our understanding of present circumstances.” Al Gore
“Elizabeth Kolbert writes with an aching beauty of the impact of our species on all the other forms of life known in this cold universe. The perspective is at once awe-inspiring, humbling, and deeply necessary.” T. C. Boyle, New York Times bestselling author
“An epic, riveting story of our species that reads like a scientific thriller—only more terrifying because it is real. Like Rachel Carson’s Silent Spring, Elizabeth Kolbert’s The Sixth Extinction is destined to become one of the most important and defining books of our time.” David Grann, New York Times bestselling author

Reviews

Reviews

by SWolf 9/13/2017
Overall Performance
Narration
Story

An ok book about a very important topic

I recently finished listening to the audiobook for The Sixth Extinction by Elizabeth Kolbert.

I will simply try to split up my thoughts into good and bad about what I heard.

Good:
- The topic is very interesting and there is a wealth of information about extinct species, almost extinct species, and our (Human) contributions to extinctions.
- The author describes some of her first hand experiences in remote regions of the world where she was able to accompany scientists studying rare organisms.

Bad
- Given the importance of this topic I felt the book really is missing the bigger picture, by getting very specific on particular species you loose the bigger picture in how humans are changing the planet's biosphere.
- Too much of the book is filled with unimportant details of expeditions to remote regions, these could be replaced with more important information or history.
- I was disappointed with the reading performance, I actually thought at times that I was listening to a robotic voice, and I believe there were some mispronunciations.
- The author could have done much better in explaining scientific/geological terms.

Overall the topic is much greater than the book, and that alone is enough for me to recommend it.

Author

Author Bio: Elizabeth Kolbert

Elizabeth Kolbert is a journalist and author best known for her New York Times bestseller The Sixth Extinction. A former New York Times reporter, she is now well known as an observer and commentator on environmentalism for the New Yorker.

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Details

Details

Available Formats : Digital Download
Category: Nonfiction/Science
Runtime: 9.98
Audience: Adult
Language: English