The Story of Earth: The First 4.5 Billion Years, from Stardust to Living Planet

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Hailed by The New York Times for writing “with wonderful clarity about science . . . that effortlessly teaches as it zips along,” nationally bestselling author Robert M. Hazen offers a radical new approach to Earth history in this intertwined tale of the planet’s living and nonliving spheres. With an astrobiologist’s imagination, a historian’s perspective, and a naturalist’s eye, Hazen calls upon twenty-first-century discoveries that have revolutionized geology and enabled scientists to envision Earth’s many iterations in vivid detail—from the mile-high lava tides of its infancy to the early organisms responsible for more than two-thirds of the mineral varieties beneath our feet. Lucid, controversial, and on the cutting edge of its field, The Story of Earth is popular science of the highest order.

"A sweeping rip-roaring yarn of immense scope, from the birth of the elements in the stars to meditations on the future habitability of our world." -Science

"A fascinating story." -Bill McKibben

Product Features

  • Penguin Books

3 comments on “The Story of Earth: The First 4.5 Billion Years, from Stardust to Living Planet”

  1. Great, but could use some visuals My science training is severely lacking in historical geology, so I've always wanted to read a good textbook on the subject, but textbooks are very dry reading. So, I've always been on the lookout for a well written book about the evolution of the earth in a geological as well as biological context. Robert M. Hazen did just that with this book and he did an excellent job of making the earth a character with a story. From the formation of the solar system to the eventual probable demise of the...

  2. Live it up while you can! A good basic information source for Earth's history. It is comprehensive as a book of its size can be, but hits many of the really important topics. It has given me many insights that I haven't been able to glean from my reading of various science--for layperson--magazines (cf Science News, Astronomy Scientific American) over the years. I finally decided I was tired of not knowing enough about shields and cratons, and how the first landmasses appeared. But the book is much richer than that...

  3. This is the first book I have read from Hazen, but it will not be the last. Wow! This book, written for a popular audience without talk down to them, was informative as well as interesting. Hazen draws on diverse fields such as astronomy, paleontology, and geophysics to paint a history of the planet we call home. His story telling method includes personal anecdotes smoothly transitioning into scientific evidence to bring those who might be venturing into historical geology for the first time into the fold and, eventually, along for the ride. The only...

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