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from a
Elizabeth Kolbert

"On the burgeoning shelf of cautionary but occasionally alarmist books warning about the consequences of dramatic climate change, Kolbert's calmly persuasive reporting stands out for its sobering clarity…this unbiased overview is a model for writing about an urgent environmental crisis."–Publishers Weekly (starred review)

"The hard, cold, sobering facts about global warming and its effects on the environment that sustains us. Kolbert’s Field Notes from a Catastrophe is nothing less than a Silent Spring for our time."–T. C. Boyle

"In this riveting view of the apocalypse already upon us, Kolbert mesmerizes with her poetic cadence."–Robert F. Kennedy, Jr.

"Reading Field Notes from a Catastrophe during the 2005 hurricane season is what it must have been like to read Silent Spring forty years ago. When you put down this book, you'll see the world through different eyes."–Sylvia Nasar, author of A Beautiful Mind

"This country needs more writers like Elizabeth Kolbert."–Jonathan Franzen, author of The Corrections

It’s hard to turn on a television or open a newspaper without hearing about global warming. It’s even harder to understand what is actually happening. FIELD NOTES FROM A CATASTROPHE: Man, Nature, and Climate Change (Bloomsbury; ISBN 13 978-1-59691-125-5; March 14, 2006; $22.95 Hardcover; 192 pages) by Elizabeth Kolbert is a clear, unbiased look at the dangers of global warming. Growing out of a groundbreaking three-part series for the New Yorker, FIELD NOTES is a book that should be read by everyone–from those who follow the latest news about the climate as well as those who have preferred to skip over it.

Kolbert cuts through both the hysteria and the misinformation that surround this issue. Here, with powerful, beautifully wrought prose, Kolbert recounts her journeys to observe firsthand the impact global warming has already had on our world. Kolbert’s investigation took her from the Arctic (sleeping in a tent out on the ice in Greenland) to the Netherlands (visiting the floating houses). She saw its effects on the Native communities of Alaska and even on species evolution.

Each place Kolbert visited, she spoke with many sober-minded, coolly analytical experts who warned of the end of the world as we know it. So why aren’t people listening? And why isn’t our current administration as concerned as it should be? One senator called global warming "the greatest hoax ever," but in legitimate scientific circles, it is virtually impossible to find disagreement over the fundamentals of global warming. The official policies of our president stand in the way of progress: As the rest of the industrialized world is pursuing one strategy (emissions limits), the U.S. is pursuing another (no limits).

FIELD NOTES FROM A CATASTROPHE is a landmark book. At once a wakeup call and a shining literary achievement, it is a must-read for anyone who cares not just about the environment, but about the future of life on earth.


Elizabeth Kolbert has been a staff writer for the New Yorker since 1999. Prior to that, she was a political reporter for the New York Times. She lives in Williamstown, Massachusetts, with her husband and three sons.


FIELD NOTES FROM A CATASTROPHE: Man, Nature, and Climate Change

Elizabeth Kolbert

Bloomsbury ISBN- 13 (978-1-59691-125-3)

March 14, 2006

$22.95 Hardcover, 192 pages

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