The World Without Us

  • Type: Books
  • By: Alan Weisman
  • Age Category: Adults
  • Genre: Non-Fiction
  • Recommended by: Sherri M.
  • ISBN/UPC: 9780312347291
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“On the day after humans disappear, nature takes over and immediately begins cleaning house”

This is how Alan Weisman starts early in The World Without Us to create an image of an Earth suddenly devoid of humans. It doesn’t really matter how humans disappear. What matters is how nature reclaims what humans intend to be permanent.

Weisman travels the globe to determine what would disappear and what would remain. He visits New York City to question engineers about the hardiness of the subway system and southwestern England to talk to scientists about the longevity of plastic particles in ocean currents. He goes to the island of Cyprus where an abandoned resort crumbles while Greece and Turkey still fight over the land underneath; and to Turkey to walk underground cities from 700 B.C. carved from volcanic debris.Weisman also investigates the fate of modern landmarks: the Channel Tunnel in England, the Panama Canal, and Mount Rushmore. Chernobyl, although not an intentional landmark, still gives Weisman clues about how nature handles nuclear disaster.

Will there be any trace of human thought and spirit left at all? Weisman explores this question in the last part of the book. What happens to bodies? to artwork? to sounds projected into space? Read this fusion of mystery, history and meditative speculation and you, too, will ponder a world without us.