Synopses & Reviews
#1 Nonfiction Book of 2007 Entertainment Weekly
#1 Nonfiction Book of 2007 Time
Finalist for the 2007 National Book Critics Circle Award
Salon Book Awards 2007
Amazon Top 100 Editors Picks of 2007 (#4)
Barnes and Noble 10 Best of 2007: Politics and Current Affairs
Kansas City Star's Top 100 Books of the Year 2007
Mother Jones Favorite Books of 2007
South Florida Sun-Sentinel Best Books of the Year 2007
Hudson's Best Books of 2007
St. Louis Post-Dispatch Best Books of 2007
St. Paul Pioneer Press Best Books of 2007
If human beings disappeared instantaneously from the Earth, what would happen? How would the planet reclaim its surface? What creatures would emerge from the dark and swarm? How would our treasured structures — our tunnels, our bridges, our homes, our monuments — survive the unmitigated impact of a planet without our intervention? In his revelatory, bestselling account, Alan Weisman draws on every field of science to present an environmental assessment like no other, the most affecting portrait yet of humankind's place on this planet.
"Alan Weisman has produced, if not a bible, at least a Book of Revelation." Newsweek
"The World without Us gradually reveals itself to be one of the most satisfying environmental books of recent memory, one devoid of self-righteousness, alarmism, or tiresome doomsaying." Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
"An astonishing mass of reportage that envisions a world suddenly bereft of humans." The Atlanta Journal-Constitution
"Weisman is a thoroughly engaging and clarion writer fueled by curiosity and determined to cast light rather than spread despair. His superbly well researched and skillfully crafted stop-you-in-your-tracks report stresses the underappreciated fact that humankind's actions create a ripple effect across the web of life." Booklist (starred review)
"I don't think I've read a better non-fiction book this year.... [Weisman] writes like Malcolm Gladwell and John McPhee mashed together and set on fast-forward." Lev Grossman, Time online
"[S]o intellectually fascinating, so oddly playful, that it escapes categorizing and clichés.... Written as if by a compassionate and curious observer on another planet, [Weisman's] book restores a sense of wonder not just to one little piece of the cosmos, but to the human race whose amazing deeds have transformed it, and whose equally monumental folly now threatens it." Gary Kamiya, Salon.com
"A sober, analytical elucidation of the effects of human dominance on this planet, intriguing if not especially comforting. This book should be broadly read and discussed." Library Journal (starred review)
"Extraordinarily farsighted. A beautiful and passionate jeremiad against deforestation, climate change, and pollution."
About the Author
Alan Weisman is an award-winning journalist whose reports have appeared in Harper's, The New York Times Magazine, The Atlantic Monthly, Discover, and on NPR, among others. A former contributing editor to the Los Angeles Times Magazine, he is a senior radio producer for Homelands Productions and teaches international journalism at the University of Arizona. His essay "Earth Without People" (Discover magazine, February 2005), on which The World without Us expands, was selected for Best American Science Writing 2006.