The World Without Us

The World Without Us

3.79 (29,927 ratings by Goodreads)
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"On the day after humans disappear, nature takes over and immediately begins cleaning house - or houses, that is. Cleans them right off the face of the earth. They all go." What if mankind disappeared right now, forever ... what would happen to the Earth in a week, a year, a millennium? Could the planet's climate ever recover from human activity? How would nature destroy our huge cities and our myriad plastics? And what would our final legacy be? Speaking to experts in fields as diverse as oil production and ecology, and visiting the places that have escaped recent human activity to discover how they have adapted to life without us, Alan Weisman paints an intriguing picture of the future of Earth. Exploring key concerns of our time, this absorbing thought experiment reveals a powerful - and surprising - picture of our planet's more

Product details

  • Paperback | 336 pages
  • 130 x 192 x 26mm | 322.05g
  • Ebury Publishing
  • Virgin Books
  • London, United Kingdom
  • English
  • Integrated b/w
  • 0753513579
  • 9780753513576
  • 20,924

About Alan Weisman

Alan Weisman is a journalist and the author of numerous books. His writing has won several major awards and has appeared in The New York Times Magazine and the Los Angeles Times more

Review quote

"Compelling ... jammed packed with fascinating "what ifs"" * Guardian * "Flesh-creepingly good fun . . . Food for thought" * Independent * "A powerful vision of a possible future for the earth" * Sunday Times * "A hugely enjoyable and thought-provoking book" * Scotsman * "A wonderful idea... The World Without Us is a hugely enjoyable and thought-provoking book... Terrific" * Evening Standard *show more

Review Text

"Flesh-creepingly good fun . . . Food for thought"show more

Back cover copy

How would the world change if human beings vanished from the earth right now, for good? What would the planet be like in a day, a week, a month...a millennium? Just how long will our greatest achievements and our biggest mistakes last after we are gone? To discover the answers, Alan Weisman looks to areas of the world that are currently unoccupied and speaks to experts in fields ranging from nuclear physics to archaeology. He reveals how the natural world would react to our disappearance and wrestles with some of the key concerns of our time to offer an intriguing glimpse of the real legacy of our existence on the planet. 'Compelling... jammed packed with fascinating "what ifs"' Guardian 'The results of this huge thought-experiment are both fascinating and surprising' Daily Mail 'Flesh-creepingly good expert-led fantasia of the post-human planet' Independent 'A wonderful idea... This is a terrific book' Scotsmanshow more

Rating details

29,927 ratings
3.79 out of 5 stars
5 26% (7,839)
4 39% (11,589)
3 25% (7,609)
2 7% (2,157)
1 2% (733)

Our customer reviews

<p>Not -- as someone quipped -- <em>The World Without the US</em>, Alan Weisman's <a href="">The World Without Us</a> is actually a slightly terrifying and wholly arresting look at what would happen to the planet if we humans were no longer on it. To read it is to be humbled -- as much damage as we are undoubtedly doing to the planet whilst we are here, once we are gone Gaia will keep on keeping on. Weisman asks, "how would the world change if human beings vanished from the earth right now, for good? What would the planet be like in a day, a week, a month ... a millennium?" His answers make for an utterly absorbing read.</p> <p>When reading <a href="">The World Without Us</a>, one can't help being reminded of the last words of Michel Foucault's <a href="">The Order of Things: An Archaeology of the Human Sciences</a> where Foucault writes that mankind may one day "be erased, like a face drawn in sand at the edge of the sea." Weisman takes this thought-experiment, consulting many experts along the way, from nuclear physicists to archeologists, and looks at just what would happen to our planet if we weren't around any longer to mess it up.</p>show more
by Mark Thwaite
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