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"An invaluable contribution to our understanding of present circumstances, just as the paradigm shift she calls for is sorely needed" — Al Gore, New York Times

"Compelling ... It is a disquieting tale, related with rigour and restraint by Kolbert" — Observer

"Passionate ... This is the big story of our age" — Sunday Times


A major book about the future of the world, blending natural history, field reporting and the history of ideas and into a powerful account of the mass extinction happening today. Over the last half a billion years, there have been five mass extinctions of life on earth.

Scientists around the world are currently monitoring the sixth, predicted to be the most devastating extinction event since the asteroid impact that wiped out the dinosaurs. Elizabeth Kolbert combines brilliant field reporting, the history of ideas and the work of geologists, botanists and marine biologists to tell the gripping stories of a dozen species — including the Panamanian golden frog and the Sumatran rhino — some already gone, others at the point of vanishing. The sixth extinction is likely to be mankind’s most lasting legacy and Elizabeth Kolbert’s book urgently compels us to rethink the fundamental question of what it means to be human.

The Sixth Extinction: An Unnatural History

SKU: 9781408851241
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