The Sixth Extinction
An Unnatural History
On behalf of: Kathy Robbins - The Robbins Office, Inc.
WINNER OF THE PULTIZER 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-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 prose that is at once frank, entertaining, and deeply informed, New Yorker writer Elizabeth Kolbert tells us why and how human beings have altered life on the planet in a way no species has before. Interweaving research in half a dozen disciplines, descriptions of the fascinating species that have already been lost, and the history of extinction as a concept, Kolbert provides a moving and comprehensive account of the disappearances occurring before our very eyes. She shows that the sixth extinction is likely to be mankind’s most lasting legacy, compelling us to rethink the fundamental question of what it means to be human.
[The Sixth Extinction] is a wonderful book, and it makes very clear that big, abrupt changes can happen; they’re not outside the realm of possibility. They have happened before, they can happen again. ―President Barack Obama
“Fascinating.” ―USA Today
“[An] excellent new book…The Sixth Extinction is the kind of book that helps us recognize the actual planet we live upon.” ―New York Review of Books
“Surprisingly breezy, entirely engrossing, and frequently entertaining… Kolbert is a masterful, thought-provoking reporter.” ―The 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
“Riveting… It is not possible to overstate the importance of Kolbert’s book. Her prose is lucid, accessible and even entertaining as she reveals the dark theater playing out on our globe.” ―San Francisco Chronicle
“A fascinating and frightening excursion… Kolbert presents powerful cases to bring her point home.” ―The Washington Post
“Your view of the world will be fundamentally changed… Kolbert is an astute observer, excellent explainer and superb synthesizer, and even manages to find humor in her subject matter.” ―The Seattle Times
“What’s exceptional about Kolbert’s writing is the combination of scientific rigor and wry humor that keeps you turning the pages.” ―National Geographic
“Beautifully written. An excellent book.” ―Jon Stewart, The Daily Show
“[Kolbert] makes a page-turner out of even the most sober and scientifically demanding aspects of extinction. Combining a lucid, steady, understated style with some enviable reporting adventures… she produces a book that is both serious-minded and invites exclamation points into its margins.” ―New York Magazine
“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, The New York Times Book Review
“Arresting . . . Ms. Kolbert shows in these pages that she can write with elegiac poetry about the vanishing creatures of this planet, but the real power of her book resides in the hard science and historical context she delivers here, documenting the mounting losses that human beings are leaving in their wake.” ―The New York Times