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The Story of Earth Audiobook

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

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Publisher's Summary

Earth evolves. From first atom to molecule, mineral to magma, granite crust to single cell to verdant living landscape, ours is a planet constantly in flux. In this radical new approach to Earth’s biography, senior Carnegie Institution researcher and national best-selling author Robert M. Hazen reveals how the co-evolution of the geosphere and biosphere - of rocks and living matter - has shaped our planet into the only one of its kind in the Solar System, if not the entire cosmos.

With an astrobiologist’s imagination, a historian’s perspective, and a naturalist’s passion for the ground beneath our feet, Hazen explains how changes on an atomic level translate into dramatic shifts in Earth’s makeup over its 4.567 billion year existence. He calls upon a flurry of recent discoveries to portray our planet’s many iterations in vivid detail - from its fast-rotating infancy when the Sun rose every 5 hours and the Moon filled 250 times more sky than it does now, to its sea-bathed youth, before the first continents arose; from the Great Oxidation Event that turned the land red, to the globe-altering volcanism that may have been the true killer of the dinosaurs. Through Hazen’s theory of “co-evolution,” we learn how reactions between organic molecules and rock crystals may have generated Earth’s first organisms, which in turn are responsible for more than two-thirds of the mineral varieties on the planet - thousands of different kinds of crystals that could not exist in a nonliving world.

The Story of Earth is also the story of the pioneering men and women behind the sciences. Listeners will meet black-market meteorite hawkers of the Sahara Desert, the gun-toting Feds who guarded the Apollo missions’ lunar dust, and the World War II Navy officer whose super-pressurized “bomb” - recycled from military hardware - first simulated the molten rock of Earth’s mantle. As a mentor to a new generation of scientists, Hazen introduces the intrepid young explorers whose dispatches from Earth’s harshest landscapes will revolutionize geology.

Celebrated by The New York Times for writing “with wonderful clarity about science . . . that effortlessly teaches as it zips along,” Hazen proves a brilliant and entertaining guide on this grand tour of our planet inside and out. Lucid, controversial, and intellectually bracing, The Story of Earth is popular science of the highest order.

©2012 Robert M. Hazen (P)2012 Gildan Media, LLC

What the Critics Say

“A fascinating new theory on the Earth’s origins written in a sparkling style with many personal touches. . . . Hazen offers startling evidence that ‘Earth’s living and nonliving spheres’ have co-evolved over the past four billion years.” (Kirkus Reviews)

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.1 (608 )
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Performance
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  •  
    CHET YARBROUGH LAS VEGAS, NEVADA, United States 06-18-14
    CHET YARBROUGH LAS VEGAS, NEVADA, United States 06-18-14 Member Since 2015

    Faced with mindless duty, when an audio book player slips into a rear pocket and mini buds pop into ears, old is made new again.

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    "THE FATE OF EARTH"

    There are many theories about the origin and fate of earth. They range from religion to science to science fiction. Robert Hazen’s theory revolves around minerals, time, and Darwinism.

    The nature and history of earth suggest yesterday, today, or tomorrow may be the beginning of the end for human life. Hazen suggests, as long as space-ship-earth is humanity’s only safe harbor, human survival is probabilistic.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Zoe 02-19-13
    Zoe 02-19-13
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    "good"
    Any additional comments?

    contained a lot of good information; covered a wide range of topics relating to earth history and the history of the universe. actually gave a pretty good treatment of dark matter, as i recall. did not have a lot of unnecessary fluff. good listen.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Gregory Collier 06-07-16
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    "fantastically easy to digest and a real eye opener"

    written and read in a clear and easy to follow manner. looking forward to another listen someday. the more complex subjects were still presented in a palatable way for laymen such as myself.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    David United States 04-26-16
    David United States 04-26-16 Member Since 2012

    Hellicopter Man

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    "Almost a full five stars."

    The author manages to avoid that happy fate in the last hour of his presentation by indulging in a fit of poetic hysteria. I saw it coming, of course. It includes a despirate need to colonize Mars and ended [ I am not making this up] with killer attack penquins.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
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    Paulo 03-31-16
    Paulo 03-31-16 Member Since 2016
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    "Awesome in every aspect."

    The information given is astonishing and could inspire the next generation. From geology to paleontology, and a cozy reference to biology, this book is a brilliant told story of the earth from the very beginning until the possible future. This book is amazingly written, wonderfully narrated and a treat for any geology and biology enthusiast. I strongly recommend it.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
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    Andy Sudbury, ON, Canada 03-23-16
    Andy Sudbury, ON, Canada 03-23-16
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    "Earth History Synthesized"

    As a geologist, this book provides an excellent review of Earth history with a focus on defining moments over the 4.5 billion years since Earth was born.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
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    Tom 10-12-15
    Tom 10-12-15 Member Since 2007
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    "A fun listen ."

    Geology and Earth Science is usually made to be boring in schools. I hadn't realized how wrong that is until I listened to this book. the story of our planet is pretty dam exciting and interesting. It just took a professor with passion and story telling ability to show me that. Bravo!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
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    Teresa 08-12-15
    Teresa 08-12-15
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    "Narration monotonous"

    While the information was interesting enough, the narration sounded computer generated. I nearly fell asleep a few times. It would also have been helpful when the reader was reading a section title that he state it as such.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
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    Russell L. Losco 07-07-15 Member Since 2014
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    "An excellent overview of Earth history"

    I found the book to be well written and well read. As a professional geologist I found that I even learned a few things. I highly recommend it.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
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    Jacob Brenner Stanford, CA United States 04-08-15
    Jacob Brenner Stanford, CA United States 04-08-15 Member Since 2016
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    "Very interesting science, great presentation"

    I slept through high school geology. If this book had been the text, I would have listened in rapt attention

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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