Category Archives: Planet Earth

The Sixth Extinction

The Sixth Extinction

336 pages • $16.00
ISBN: 978-1-250-06218-5

An Unnatural History

Elizabeth Kolbert

Winner of the Pulitzer Prize

“Your view of the world will be fundamentally changed . . . Kolbert is an astute observer, excellent explainer, and superb synthesizer, and even manages to find humor in her subject matter.”—The Seattle Times

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.

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 Panamanian 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. “Ms. Kolbert shows in these pages that she can write with elegiac poetry about the vanishing creatures of this planet, but the real power of her book resides in the hard science and historical context she delivers here, documenting the mounting losses that human beings are leaving in their wake.”—The New York Times

© Barry Goldstein

Elizabeth Kolbert is a staff writer at The New Yorker. She is the author of Field Notes from a Catastrophe. She lives in Williamstown, Massachusetts, with her husband and children.

The Sixth Extinction has been adopted for First-Year Experience programs at:

Colgate University (NY); Lafayette College (PA); Linfield College (OR); Occidental College (CA); Feather River College (CA); Millsaps College (MS); Rowan University (NJ); Saint Francis High School (CA); Stanford University (CA); Villanova University (PA); Williams College (MA); University of Vermont (VT)

Thank You for Being Late

Thank You for Being Late

Farrar, Straus and Giroux
496 pages • $28.00
ISBN: 978-0-374-27353-8

An Optimist’s Guide to Thriving in the Age of Accelerations

Thomas L. Friedman

With his trademark vitality, wit, and optimism, Thomas L. Friedman  (author of The World Is Flat and Hot, Flat, and Crowded) returns with an essential field guide to the twenty-first century.

In this new book, Thomas L. Friedman exposes the tectonic movements that are reshaping the world today and explains how to get the most out of them and cushion their worst impacts. You will never look at the world the same way again after you read this book: how you understand the news, the work you do, the education your students need, the investments your employer has to make, and the moral and geopolitical choices our country has to navigate will all be refashioned by Friedman’s original analysis. His thesis: to understand the twenty-first century, you need to understand that the planet’s three largest forces—Moore’s law (technology); the Market (globalization); and Mother Nature (climate change and biodiversity loss)—are accelerating all at once. These accelerations are transforming five key realms: the workplace, politics, geopolitics, ethics, and community. Thank You for Being Late is a work of contemporary history that serves as a field manual for how to write and think about this era of accelerations. It’s also an argument for “being late”—for pausing to appreciate this amazing historical epoch we’re passing through and reflecting on its possibilities and dangers. Friedman shows that we can overcome the multiple stresses of an age of accelerations—if we slow down, if we dare to be late and use the time to reimagine work, politics, and community. This is Friedman’s most ambitious book—and an essential guide to the present and the future.

© Ralph Alswang

Thomas L. Friedman is a three-time recipient of the Pulitzer Prize for his work with The New York Times and the author of six bestselling books, including The World Is Flat, Hot, Flat, and Crowded, and That Used to Be Us (co-written with Michael Mandelbaum). He lives in Bethesda, Maryland, with his family.

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Greenpeace Captain

Greenpeace Captain

Thomas Dunne Books/St. Martin’s Press
336 pages • $27.99
ISBN: 978-1-250-07954-1

My Adventures in Protecting the Future of Our Planet

Peter Willcox with Ronald B. Weiss

“Willcox raises important environmental awareness and celebrates Greenpeace exploits, which should inspire like-minded activists.”—Kirkus Reviews 

Peter Willcox has been a Captain for Greenpeace for over 30 years. He would never call himself a hero, but he is recognized on every ocean and continent for devoting his entire life to saving the planet. He has led the most compelling and dangerous Greenpeace actions to bring international attention to the destruction of our environment. From the globally televised imprisonment of his crew, the “Arctic 30,” by Russian Commandos to international conspiracies involving diamond smuggling, gun-trading and Al-Qaeda, Willcox has braved the unimaginable and triumphed. This is his story—which begins when he was a young man sailing with Pete Seeger and continues right up to his becoming the iconic environmentalist he is today. His daring adventures and courageous determination will inspire readers everywhere.

© Greenpeace

Peter Willcox has been a Captain for Greenpeace for over 30 years—the most experienced captain in the organization. He has led the most compelling and dangerous Greenpeace actions to bring international attention to the destruction of our environment.

Ronald B. Weiss is a marketing and communications consultant with a background in branding, advertising, and marketing strategy. He has worked with many of the biggest companies in the world, including IBM, BMW, Virgin Atlantic, and others.

Climate of Hope

Climate of Hope

St. Martin’s Press
272 pages • $26.99
ISBN: 978-1-250-14207-8

How Cities, Businesses, and Citizen Can Save the Planet

Michael Bloomberg and Carl Pope

Climate of Hope is an inspiring must-read for anyone who wants to know how their local actions can have positive and significant impacts on the world.”—Former Vice President Al Gore

The 2016 election left many people who are concerned about the environment fearful that progress on climate change would come screeching to a halt. But not Michael Bloomberg and Carl Pope. Bloomberg, an entrepreneur and former mayor of New York City, and Pope, a lifelong environmental leader, approach climate change from different perspectives, yet they arrive at similar conclusions. Without agreeing on every point, they share a belief that cities, businesses, and citizens can lead—and win—the battle against climate change, no matter which way the political winds in Washington may shift. In Climate of Hope, Bloomberg and Pope offer an optimistic look at the challenge of climate change, the solutions they believe hold the greatest promise, and the practical steps that are necessary to achieve them. Writing from their own experiences, and sharing their own stories from government, business, and advocacy, Bloomberg and Pope provide a road map for tackling the most complicated challenge the world has ever faced. Along the way, they turn the usual way of thinking about climate change on its head: from top down to bottom up, from partisan to pragmatic, from costs to benefits, from tomorrow to today, and from fear to hope.

Mike Bloomberg © Gregory Heisler

© Gregory Heisler

Carl Pope © Gregory Heisler

© Gregory Heisler

Michael Bloomberg is the founder of Bloomberg LP, a Philanthropist, the UN Secretary-General’s Special Envoy for Cities and Climate Change, and three-term mayor of New York City. His charitable foundation, Bloomberg Philanthropies, employs a unique data-driven approach, often focused on cities, to its five main focus areas: public health, education, the environment, the arts, and government innovation. A passionate supporter of action on climate change, Bloomberg is involved in multiple climate efforts, including partnering with the Sierra Club’s Beyond Coal Campaign, which aims to close half of America’s coal-powered energy production, and supporting state efforts to transition to renewable energy sources. He has served as Chair of the Sustainability Accounting Standards Board, the Task Force on Climate-related Financial Disclosures.

A veteran leader in the environmental movement, Carl Pope is the former Executive Director and Chairman of the Sierra Club. He’s now the principal adviser at Inside Straight Strategies, looking for the underlying economics that link sustainability and economic development. He serves as a Senior Climate Adviser to former NYC Mayor Michael Bloomberg. He was a founder of the Blue-Green Alliance and America Votes. He has served on the Boards of Ceres, the California League of Conservation Voters, As You Sow, the National Clean Air Coalition, and California Common Cause. He is currently a member of the US-India Track II Climate Diplomacy project of the Aspen Institute. He writes regularly for Bloomberg View and Huffington Post. Pope is also the author of three books: Sahib, An American Misadventure in India; Hazardous Waste in America; and co-author along with Paul Rauber of Strategic Ignorance: Why the Bush Administration Is Recklessly Destroying a Century of Environmental Progress, which the New York Review of Books called “a splendidly fierce book.”

The Modern Savage

Picking Cotton

St. Martin’s Press/Thomas Dunne Books
304 pages • $25.99
ISBN: 978-1-250-03119-8

Our Unthinking Decision to Eat Animals

James McWilliams

In this book, James McWilliams explores the “compassionate carnivore” movement and the paradox of humanity’s relationship with animals.

In the last four decades, food reformers have revealed the ecological and ethical problems of eating animals raised in industrial settings, turning what was once the boutique concern of radical eco-freaks into a mainstream movement. But although many stores now carry meat labeled as “cage free,” “free range,” and “grass-fed,” can eating meat ever truly be considered sound, safe, or ethical?

In The Modern Savage, renowned writer, historian, and animal activist James McWilliams pushes back against the questionable moral standards of a largely omnivorous world and explores the “alternative to the alternative”—not eating animals at all. McWilliams reveals the scope of the cruelty that takes place even on the smallest and—supposedly—most humane animal farms. In a world increasingly aware of animals’ intelligence and the range of their emotions, McWilliams advocates for the only truly moral, sustainable choice—a diet without meat, dairy, or other animal products. McWilliams’s The Modern Savage is a riveting expose of an industry that has typically hidden behind a veil of morality, and a compelling account of how to live a more economical, environmental, and ethical life.

James McWilliams © Cecile McWilliams

© Cecile McWilliams

James McWilliams is a writer and historian living in Austin, Texas. He is the author of five previous books on food, animals, and agriculture, including Just Food and A Revolution in Eating. His work has appeared in The New York Times, Harper’s Magazine, Slate, The Atlantic, and a wide variety of other publications.

Saints at the River

Saints at the River

256 pages · $15.00
ISBN: 978-0-312-42491-6

A Novel

Ron Rash

Winner of the Weatherford Award for Best Novel

“As a stylist, Rash never falters, offering rich metaphors that quietly bring the nuances of Tamassee and the river to life.”—The Post & Courier (Charleston)

The people of a small South Carolina town are thrown into the national spotlight when a twelve-year-old girl drowns in the Tamassee River and her body is trapped in a deep eddy. The girl’s parents want to rescue the body, while environmentalists believe the rescue will cause permanent damage to the river and set a dangerous precedent. Maggie, a newspaper photographer who was raised in the town and has been sent to cover the story, finds herself revisiting the past she’s fought hard to leave behind.

Ron Rash is the recipient of an O. Henry Prize and the James Still Award from the Fellowship of Southern Writers. Rash holds the John Parris Chair in Appalachian Studies at Western Carolina University and is the author of the novels One Foot in Eden, Saints at the River, and The World Made Straight (winner of the Sir Walter Raleigh Award), and the story collection Chemistry and Other Stories. He lives in Clemson, South Carolina.

Saints at the River has been adopted for First-Year Experience programs at:

Austin Peay State University (TN); Baruch College (NY); Clemson University (SC); Guilford College (SC); John Carroll University (OH); Mars Hill College (NC); Northeast Alabama College; Robeson Community College (NC); Seneca High School (SC); Spokane Falls Community College (WA); Temple University (PA); University of Central Florida; University of South Carolina, Lancaster; Valparaiso University (IN); West Kentucky Community and Technical College

No Impact Man

No Impact Man

288 pages • $15.00
ISBN: 978-0-312-42983-6

The Adventures of a Guilty Liberal Who Attempts to Save the Planet and the Discoveries He Makes About Himself and Our Way of Life in the Process

Colin Beavan

“Entertaining and informative, No Impact Man can offer first-year students a fresh perspective on their roles and responsibilities in the new community.”—The Journal of College Orientation and Transition

What does it really take to live eco-effectively? When the guilt about his high-impact lifestyle finally got to Colin Beavan, he swore off plastic, went organic, became a bicycle fanatic, turned off his electricity, and devoted himself to saving the polar bears and the rest of the planet from environmental catastrophe while dragging his young daughter and his Prada-wearing wife along for the ride. This is the sensational, funny, and consciousness-raising story of how they did it. With No Impact Man, Beavan found that no-impact living is worthwhile—and richer, fuller, and more satisfying in the bargain. “You have to give Colin Beavan credit; the man put his money where his mouth is. A self-proclaimed ‘guilty liberal’ tired of the world’s general ecological decline, he decided to change his life. And in no small way. Even better, he did it with a sense of humor.”—The Boston Globe

Colin Beavan


Colin Beavan’s writing has appeared in Esquire, The Atlantic, and The New York Times. He lives in New York City. For more information on the book, blog, documentary, and nonprofit project please visit his website at

No Impact Man has been adopted for thirty-five First-Year Experience programs:

Atlantic Cape Community College (NJ); Baker University (KS); Bowling Green State University (OH); Cleveland State University; Community College of Baltimore County; Corning Community College (NY); Des Moines Area Community College; Florida State College, Jacksonville; Illinois Wesleyan University; Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis; Johnson & Wales University (RI); Loyola University, Chicago; Missouri University of Science and Technology; Northern Arizona University; Northern Virginia Community College, Extended Learning Institute; Ohio State University; Pennsylvania State University, Altoona; Purdue University (IN); Purdue University, North Central (IN); Rollins College (FL); Texas State University; University of Arkansas; University of Colorado, Colorado Springs; University of Kentucky; University of Massachusetts, Amherst; University of Missouri, Kansas City; University of North Carolina, Wilmington; University of Northern Colorado; University of Rhode Island; University of South Carolina; University of Texas, Austin; University of Toledo (OH); University of Wisconsin, LaCrosse; Young Harris College (GA)

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