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."
Because of the scientific terminology and the interlinked data amassed bit by bit, this is not an easy read for narrator or lay listener. But it's a fascinating book, and Grupper handles it well. Grupper's careful narration brings to life Weisman's judicious organization, unambiguous grammatical structure and vivid descriptions of what would become of land, sea, fish, flora and fauna should humans disappear from the face of the earth. Weisman explains the earth's capacity for self-healing. Unchecked by human intervention, a city like New York would flood within days, its buildings and infrastructure would collapse, and soon the city would revert to its original ecosystem. But the message of the book is our legacy to the universe: "Every bit of plastic manufactured over the last 80 years or so still remains somewhere in the environment." Weisman and Grupper convert abstract environmental concepts into concrete ideas. Broadly and meticulously researched, finely interwoven journalism and imaginative projection, the book is an utterly convincing call to action. Simultaneous release with the St. Martin's/Dunne hardcover (Reviews, May 14). (July) Copyright 2007 Reed Business Information.
This is one of the grandest thought experiments of our time, a tremendous feat of imaginative reporting! "Bill McKibben, author of The End of Nature and Deep Economy: The Wealth of Communities and The Durable Future" The imaginative power of "The World Without Us" is compulsive and nearly hypnotic--make sure you have time to be kidnapped into Alan Weisman's alternative world before you sit down with the book, because you won't soon return. This is a text that has a chance to change people, and so make a real difference for the planet. "Charles Wohlforth, author of L.A. Times Book Prize-winning The Whale and the Supercomputer" Alan Weisman offers us a sketch of where we stand as a species that is both illuminating and terrifying. His tone is conversational and his affection for both Earth and humanity transparent. "Barry Lopez, author of Arctic Dreams" An exacting account of the processes by which things fall apart. The scope is breathtaking...the clarity and lyricism of the writing itself left me with repeated gasps of recognition about the human condition. I believe it will be a classic. "Dennis Covington, author of National Book Award finalist Salvation on Sand Mountain" Fascinating, mordant, deeply intelligent, and beautifully written, "The World Without Us" depicts the spectacle of humanity's impact on the planet Earth in tragically poignant terms that go far beyond the dry dictates of science. This is a very important book for a species playing games with its own destiny. "James Howard Kunstler, author of The Long Emergency""