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How to Build a Habitable Planet: The Story of Earth from the Big Bang to Humankind
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How to Build a Habitable Planet: The Story of Earth from the Big Bang to Humankind

4.40  ·  Rating details ·  107 ratings  ·  12 reviews
Hardcover, Revised and Expanded Edition, 718 pages
Published April 29th 2012 by Princeton University Press (first published April 18th 1995)
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Brian Clegg
Aug 12, 2012 rated it liked it
I have expressed before my horror at being faced with huge, megaheavy fat books purporting to be popular science – this has to be one of the chunkiest, weighing in at 1.4 wrist-crippling kilograms and with 668 pages before you get onto the glossary and index (thankfully, no notes). To be worth being this unwieldy, a book ought to do something pretty remarkable. And that’s just what How to Build, an updated version of a 1980s title, does, as you can tell from its subtitle, The Story of Earth from ...more
Steve Walker
For some folks geology is a dull subject, seen one rock..... This book removes that mindset. The last 60 years witnessed a radical change and revolution in the subject. In fact a better term to describe the subject would be planetary science. "How to Build..." is the second edition of a 25 year old classic. If you want a good over view of the subject with a good bibliography this is the book for you. As I mentioned earlier, the topic has changed and now draws from subject areas that were in thei ...more
Sep 15, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I would seriously recommend this book for anyone who is somewhat curious about the origins of the universe, the earth, or life. Gives a broad and accessible account of how these things are thought to have occurred as well as the timeline. Also gives the REASONS why we have come to these conclusions in an easy to understand way, I felt like as I read this book questions would arise in my mind but then be almost immediately answered in the next paragraph or page. This book was assigned as a textbo ...more
Jannik Faierson
Dec 23, 2020 rated it liked it
Shelves: science
A textbook in a course I have taken in my first semester at college. Very informative, clearly written, and summarizes the main scientific methods and theories while also offering an intriguing outlook beyond. Chapter summaries are very useful!
Mar 30, 2018 rated it liked it
Very interesting read. Some chapters are more content-heavy than others, but this is a very friendly read for people without lots of background knowledge in science.
Jeffrey Cao
Jan 08, 2021 rated it it was amazing
Lots of interesting information on how the earth came to be what it is known as today
Jake Leech
Comprehensive, and mostly readable despite a lot of discussion of isotope ratios. Unfortunately, my 1985 (?) edition is pretty dated.
Jun 07, 2007 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: science
This book has changed my perspective about everything I see, think, and do. It concisely and logically presents the theory (as of 1985) of how our atoms were formed and bonded from the time of the big bang until the present. It talks about why our terrestrial planet with its chemical makeup, atmosphere, and available elements were derived from our position in the galaxy, distance from the sun, etc. It also rates each of its own theories as to their likelihoods on scaled of 1-10. A little hard to ...more
Jan 06, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Had this textbook for an interdisciplinary course combining physics, geology, chemistry and biology to explain the beginnings of the universe and our planet. According to my biology professor, it's pretty weak on the biology side, but it's hard not to be amazed on how much information can be put in such an accessible way. I had no background in natural sciences prior to this course but found the chapters written in a very comprehensible manner. ...more
Sep 23, 2016 marked it as to-read
Shelves: to-read-sci-med
Recommended in The Origins of Everything in 100 Pages, More or Less by David Bercovici
Yi Niu
Jan 22, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: earth-env-sci
This is a recommended reading of Geochemistry taught by Youxue Zhang at U of Michigan.
Mills College Library
525 L2847 2012
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Wallace Smith Broecker (born November 29, 1931 in Chicago is the Newberry Professor in the Department of Earth and Environmental Sciences at Columbia University, a scientist at Columbia's Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory and a sustainability fellow at Arizona State University. He developed the idea of a global "conveyor belt" linking the circulation of the global ocean and made major contributions ...more

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