A Brief History of Earth Summary and Reviews

A Brief History of Earth

Four Billion Years in Eight Chapters

by Andrew H. Knoll

A Brief History of Earth by Andrew H. Knoll X
A Brief History of Earth by Andrew H. Knoll
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Book Summary

For every Earth resident, an essential primer by Harvard's acclaimed geologist.

Odds are, where you're standing was once cooking under a roiling sea of lava, crushed by a towering sheet of ice, rocked by a nearby meteor strike, or perhaps choked by poison gases, drowned beneath ocean, perched atop a mountain range, or roamed by fearsome monsters. Probably most or even all of the above.

The story of our home planet and the organisms spread across its surface is far more spectacular than any Hollywood blockbuster, filled with enough plot twists to rival a bestselling thriller. But only recently have we begun to piece together the whole mystery into a coherent narrative. Drawing on his decades of field research and up-to-the-minute understanding of the latest science, renowned geologist Andrew H. Knoll delivers a rigorous yet accessible biography of Earth, charting our home planet's epic 4.6 billion-year story. Placing twenty first-century climate change in deep context, A Brief History of Earth is an indispensable look at where we've been and where we're going.

Features original illustrations depicting Earth history and nearly 50 figures (maps, tables, photographs, graphs).

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Media Reviews

"A sublime chronicle of our planet's formation and beginnings, the perhaps unlikely yet awe-inspiring interactions that created life, diverse and abundant, and mass extinctions and recoveries. Knoll skillfully presents the extreme conditions, violence, and delicate fragility that mark the cycles and evolution of our home." - Booklist (starred review)

"A geologist skillfully condenses the history of the Earth...An expert primer on the history of everything." - Kirkus Reviews

"A fantastic distillation of Earth's history, from one of the world's leading geologists: Andrew H. Knoll has written an engrossing, witty, and eminently readable romp through our home planet's 4.5 billion years, from trilobites and dinosaurs to human origins and our rapidly changing modern times." - Steve Brusatte, New York Times bestselling author of The Rise and Fall of the Dinosaurs

"Having spent decades at the forefront of discovery and research, Andrew H. Knoll has been one of our planet's leading scientists. In A Brief History of Earth, Knoll treats us to a 4.6-billion-year detective story revealing the origins and inner workings of our home in the solar system. In these pages you'll discover something profound: how our past, present, and future are grounded in Planet Earth." - Neil Shubin, author of Your Inner Fish and Some Assembly Required

This information about A Brief History of Earth shown above was first featured in "The BookBrowse Review" - BookBrowse's membership magazine, and in our weekly "Publishing This Week" newsletter. In most cases, the reviews are necessarily limited to those that were available to us ahead of publication. If you are the publisher or author and feel that the reviews shown do not properly reflect the range of media opinion now available, please send us a message with the mainstream media reviews that you would like to see added.

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Andrew Knoll is the Fisher Professor of Natural History at Harvard University. He has been a member of the Harvard faculty since 1982, serving as both Professor of Biology and Professor of Earth and Planetary Sciences. Professor Knoll's research focuses on the early evolution of life, Earth's environmental history, and, especially, the interconnections between the two. He has conducted field research on five continents and for two decades served on the science team for NASA's MER mission to Mars. Professor Knoll's honors include the International Prize for Biology, the Walcott Medal and the Mary Clark Thompson Medal of the National Academy of Sciences, the Oparin Medal of the International Society for the Study of the Origins of Life, the Moore Medal of the Society for Sedimentary Geology, the Paleontological Society Medal, and the Wollaston Medal of the Geological Society of London. Knoll is a member of the National Academy of Sciences, the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, and the American Philosophical Society, and is a foreign member of the Royal Society of London. His first book, Life on a Young Planet, received the Phi Beta Kappa Book Award in Science.

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