The Sixth Extinction: An Unnatural History

Front Cover
Bloomsbury Publishing, Feb 13, 2014 - Nature - 336 pages
73 Reviews
Reviews aren't verified, but Google checks for and removes fake content when it's identified


'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.

What people are saying - Write a review

User ratings

5 stars
4 stars
3 stars
2 stars
1 star

Reviews aren't verified, but Google checks for and removes fake content when it's identified

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - Ccyynn - LibraryThing

This is a life-changing book for me. The beauty and drama of the ecology of our planet moves me deeply, and not only because of its nearly incomprehensible diversity and elegance. The ability of the ... Read full review

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - the.ken.petersen - LibraryThing

At times, this felt like reading Charles Dickens: why use one word when a paragraph can be eked out? That being said, there are many facts in this book which I didn't know. Any person, claiming green ... Read full review

Other editions - View all

About the author (2014)

Elizabeth Kolbert was a New York Times reporter for fourteen years until she became a staff writer at the New Yorker in 1999. She is the author of Field Notes from a Catastrophe: A Frontline Report on Climate Change. She lives in Massachusetts with her husband and children.


Bibliographic information