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

Robert M. Hazen
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
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Product details

  • Hardcover: 306 pages
  • Publisher: Viking Books (26 April 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0670023558
  • ISBN-13: 978-0670023554
  • Product Dimensions: 22.9 x 15.2 x 3 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 299,101 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Is Hazen a new Sagan ? 24 May 2012
Format:Hardcover
In less than 300 pages Professor Hazen has written an easy-to-understand, convincing, different yet logical, explanation of Earth history from "stardust" to the present - and beyond. In doing so he has collaborated with experts in every conceivable discipline - on latest hypotheses in geology, chemistry, physics and biology. He has described most-recent attempts to solve important problems and in so doing has demonstrated the inter-connectedness of everything.

His hypothesis involves the co-evolution" of the geosphere and the biosphere - how rock crystals and organic molecules generated the first replicating organisms which in turn developed minerals that could not exist in a non-living world. Most minerals have come into existence only by inseparable chemical and biological processes.

Professor Hazen has introduced world-renowned practitioners in critical areas. He weaves into his narrative powerful, personal experiences. With his easy style and clear vision he overcomes any science-phobia of the reader.
And, amazingly, without the need for diagrams.
This book, with his other works, must mark him as a 21st century Sagan.
I can't wait for the DVD !

POSTSCRIPT: 18 JUNE 2014
There is a 48-Lecture course on DVD available through AMAZON. It is one of "The Great Courses"

The Origin and Evolution of Earth: From the Big Bang to the Future of Human Existence
Professor Robert M. Hazen George Mason UniversityPh.D., Harvard University Robert M. Hazen
Course No.1740 I think he should get a Nobel Prize (or similar).
I thoroughly recommend this course ( especially if you can get it at discount price).
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars This book rocks! 11 Sep 2012
By Strv 74
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
I could not help myself with the title of my review. This book is actually mostly about rocks. But if you want to write about the history of our planet it will be a history about geology and much less about biology.

Professor Hazen has tried to compress 4.5 billion years of history into a book of 300 pages. He has succeeded very well. He has written about our planet going through several stages of development and he manages to explain and link them together so you experience a 4.5 billion fast trip through history. Finding a similar book will not be easy since most books about pre-human history tends to focus on dinosaurs or other biological life in our past.

Professor Hazen writes in an easy and clear way. He is interlinking the story with personal memories that helps creating a book that is not some dry academic textbook but instead a book that anyone with an interest in our past could pick up and enjoy.

These are no illustrations in the book. It would have helped to have a few so that instead of explaining in text about continental drift you could just show us but in a typical modern way we are instead proposed to check out a Webb-site where we can see this in an animated way. Still if you read in bed those Webb-sites are probably not instantly available.

The Book ends with his discussion about our future. It is mostly a very bleak one. I wish he could have been more optimistic but I am afraid he is right.

This is a book well worth reading. I recommend it warmly.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars well done 31 Aug 2012
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
I seldom find the time to do anything these days...let alone write a review...but I fell that this time, it is a necessity. Hazen has crafted a beautiful, intricate and compelling summary of the history of the Earth (certainly, 4.5 billion years is no easy task). Without going into too much detail, without patronising the reader with obvious information, written in a style that is easily enjoyable, this book is a gem. Hazen is up there with the rest of them, i.e. Sagan, Fortey, Dawkins, Lane, Benton, etc. in bringing the beauty and fascination of science in an accessible format. I can assure you, if you have an interest in science, you won't be able to put this book down. Well done!
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