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

Extended Audio Sample The Story of Earth: The First 4.5 Billion Years, from Stardust to Living Planet Audiobook, by Robert M. Hazen Click for printable size audiobook cover
4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 4.00 (96 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Robert M. Hazen Narrator: Walter Dixon Publisher: Gildan Audio Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: June 2012 ISBN: 9781469000923
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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 bestselling author Robert M. Hazen reveals how the coevolution 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 five 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 “coevolution,” 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.

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Listener Opinions

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Chris Dorsey | 10/14/2013

    " One of the most fascinating and captivating books I've ever read. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Ken Lacovara | 9/30/2013

    " Hazen studies the earliest life from the Proterozoic. When he writes about this eon, he is interesting and informative. His treatment of other time periods is pretty mundane, though, with little new added. He should have called his book "The first 4 billion years," and stopped there. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Dave Schey | 9/24/2013

    " Great and interesting read even if you have limited knowledge of geology. Hazen spends most of the book talking about the lesser-known Pre-Phanerozoic Eon (the first 4 billion years of Earths history). Fascinating read! "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 David McNally | 6/25/2013

    " I listened to this as an audio book from audible.com. Interesting! "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Steve | 2/28/2013

    " Excellent survey of Earth's geological and biological history, with emphasis on their interrelationship. A good introduction for the general reader. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Duane | 12/16/2012

    " Really enjoyed the epilogue "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Walter Straus | 11/22/2012

    " A must read if you want to find out all about the formation of the earth to the present. Sounds dull? Hazen makes it fascinating. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 David Lebron | 10/20/2012

    " Great book if you're into science and how the natural world evolved. The author is a mineralogist and devotes a lot of time to "rocks", which may not appeal to some. However, that did not take away from the book. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Nicole | 10/8/2012

    " I can't say I understand geology all that much more comprehensively than I did before I read this, but it was a fascinating and informative book. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Adventure_chick | 9/27/2012

    " Great read of the history of Earth. The writing style clearly showed how the author knew and loved the topic. He managed to put so much information into one small book without talking over the reader's head. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Nora Mascioli | 9/7/2012

    " Well written documentation of the formation and evolution of the Earth and Solar System. As far as text book go, definitely an engaging read. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Barbm1020 | 8/20/2012

    " This is a thorough, up-to-date look at the history of the Earth and the science that has been used to discover it. As I was finishing it, Nat Geo TV cam out with a nice cg special telling pretty much the same story in overview. Now I know more than I used to about the world we live on. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Steve | 6/30/2012

    " Good - a bit more geology then my biology biased mine could handle at times - but overall an enjoyable read. "

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About the Narrator

Walter Dixon is a broadcast media veteran of more than twenty years’ experience with a background in theater and performing arts and voice work for commercials. After a career in public radio, he is now a full-time narrator with more than fifty audiobooks recorded in genres ranging from religion and politics to children’s stories.