Elizabeth Kolbert

discusses

The Sixth Extinction:
An Unnatural History

THIS EVENT HAS BEEN CANCELED

This event includes a book signing

Date

Feb
13
Thursday
February 13, 2014
8:00 PM

Location

Harvard Book Store
1256 Massachusetts Ave., Cambridge, MA 02138

Tickets

This event is free; no tickets are required.

THIS EVENT HAS BEEN CANCELED DUE TO TRAVEL COMPLICATIONS. Unfortunately we will not be able to reschedule. We expect to have books with signed bookplates for sale in coming weeks. Email info@harvard.com if you would like to be notified when these are available.

Harvard Book Store is pleased to welcome the author of Field Notes from a Catastrophe, ELIZABETH KOLBERT, for a discussion of her newest book, The Sixth Extinction: An Unnatural History.

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 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. In The Sixth Extinction, two-time winner of the National Magazine Award and New Yorker writer Elizabeth Kolbert draws on the work of scores of researchers in half a dozen disciplines, accompanying many of them into the field: geologists who study deep ocean cores, botanists who follow the tree line as it climbs up the Andes, marine biologists who dive off the Great Barrier Reef. She introduces us to a dozen species, some already gone, others facing extinction, including the Panamian golden frog, staghorn coral, the great auk, and the Sumatran rhino. 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.

"With her usual lucid and lovely prose, Elizabeth Kolbert lays out the sad and gripping facts of our moment on earth: that we've become a geological force, driving vast swaths of creation over the brink. A remarkable addition to the literature of our haunted epoch." —Bill McKibben, author of Oil and Honey: The Education of an Unlikely Activist

"Kolbert accomplishes an amazing feat in her latest book, which 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

Elizabeth Kolbert
Elizabeth Kolbert

Elizabeth Kolbert

Elizabeth Kolbert is the author of Field Notes from a Catastrophe: Man, Nature, and Climate Change and The Sixth Extinction, for which she won the Pulitzer Prize. For her work at The New Yorker, where she's a staff writer, she has received two National Magazine Awards and the Blake-Dodd Prize from the American Academy of Arts and Letters. She lives in Williamstown, Massachusetts, with her husband and children.

Photo Credit: John Kleiner

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