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The Sixth Extinction: An Unnatural History

Average Rating 4.5
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Most Helpful Favorable Review

6 out of 7 people found this review helpful.

Towards the end of author Kolbert¿s new book, The Sixth Extincti

Towards the end of author Kolbert’s new book, The Sixth Extinction, she mentions that in life, as in mutual funds, past performance carries no guarantees. What I can guarantee readers who appreciate our planet’s diversity and our own species insufferable arrogance, is a...
Towards the end of author Kolbert’s new book, The Sixth Extinction, she mentions that in life, as in mutual funds, past performance carries no guarantees. What I can guarantee readers who appreciate our planet’s diversity and our own species insufferable arrogance, is a thought-provoking, deeply moving reading experience. This is my first exposure to Ms. Kolbert’s prose and to say I am now a fan doesn’t tell the half of it.

First, the organization of this project and the resulting book makes it accessible even to those who might scoff at the ideas it contains. She travels around the globe, reporting first-hand on examples of past extinctions, their causes and on lives currently stressed to the point of disappearance. Having seen examples of this in my own back-yard over the past ten years or so, I found the subject particularly interesting. I also was carried along on a crest through her method of tackling a difficult subject with good humor while illustrating her point in such a way that the heavy sadness that similar work often provides, was made tolerable.

Finishing the book on a slightly hopeful note helped a great deal without effacing the stark, terrible truths she has so lovingly presented. I felt moved to do what I can, from this point, to help reduce my own careless damage to other lives in our fragile biosphere. I would expect that there will be many who will feel this way after reading this important book. Science readers will also appreciate her meticulous footnotes and references to the research she followed through her writing. I’m sure that many of these projects could use additional funding help and would encourage all readers to share what they can to enlarge the spirit and effectiveness of this on-going work.

posted by RichardSutton on March 5, 2014

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Most Helpful Critical Review

2 out of 9 people found this review helpful.

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posted by Anonymous on February 23, 2014

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