Saturday, July 28, 2007

Clear Frontier

A New Bestseller

Published earlier this month, it hasn't taken long for Alan Weisman's "The World Without Us" to become a bestseller (according to the Globe and Mail).

The book describes how the earth would be if the human race died out. This is certainly a compelling idea. In tomorrow's Washington Post, Michael Grunwald writes that the book is well written, but suffers from a fundamental flaw: "Who cares?"

Ultimately, The World Without Us is trivia masquerading as wisdom. By journeying around the world to interview biologists and paleontologists, engineers and curators, Zápara elders and Masai ecoguides, Weisman has done a remarkably thorough job of answering a question that doesn't particularly matter.

Yes, that's about right.


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