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The Birth of the Anthropocene

Jeremy Davies (Author)

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The world faces an environmental crisis unprecedented in human history. Carbon dioxide levels have reached heights not seen for three million years, and the greatest mass extinction since the time of the dinosaurs appears to be underway. Such far-reaching changes suggest something remarkable: the beginning of a new geological epoch. It has been called the Anthropocene. The Birth of the Anthropocene shows how this epochal transformation puts the deep history of the planet at the heart of contemporary environmental politics. By opening a window onto geological time, the idea of the Anthropocene changes our understanding of present-day environmental destruction and injustice. Linking new developments in earth science to the insights of world historians, Jeremy Davies shows that as the Anthropocene epoch begins, politics and geology have become inextricably entwined.
Jeremy Davies teaches in the School of English at the University of Leeds.
"Excellent."—Robert Macfarlane The Guardian
"I can’t recall another book that positions the present global crisis in Earth’s deep history so well, in a form that can be readily understood by non-specialists. Every ecosocialist should read it."—Climate and Capitalism
"The first book you would want to read to find out the origins, philosophies, and debate surrounding the 'Anthropocene'. . . . A fascinating tour of natural history."—Capitalism Nature Socialism
"Elegant and concise . . . alert to the new relationship that needs to be forged between culture and climate change.”—Times Literary Supplement
“Jeremy Davies' concise, erudite and highly-engaging book, The Birth of the Anthropocene, will, I am sure, soon be regarded as one of the best introductions to this new and rapidly evolving field. All [readers] will certainly appreciate Davies' knack for making the complex comprehendible and the daunting manageable.”—Andrew Peterson World History Connected
"Perhaps the best guide so far to the different senses and timeframes attached to the term [Anthropocene].”—London Review of Books
"A modest book of giant ambition... Davies’ work takes us on a much deeper dive into the history of the Earth itself."—The Quarterly Review of Biology
"Geological knowledge is mixed with political ideas without losing objectivity.... Davies introduces the difficulties of defining geological change, and contextualizes events within a proper time scale."—Conservation Biology
"An excellent commentary, which will serve both committed scholars and early undergraduates equally well . . . Davies’ most impressive accomplishment in this book is his ability to ease readers into the key contemporary debates."—Journal of Interdisciplinary History
"This lucid and well-argued book stands out for the detailed seriousness and scholarship with which, against all the looser appropriations of the term now current, it considers the meaning of ‘the Anthropocene’."—Green Letters: Studies in Ecocriticism
"The world that all humans in all history knew has ended, and something new has started. This book can help you begin thinking about what that event—the biggest event in our lifetimes—really means."—Bill McKibben, author of Earth: Making a Life on a Tough New Planet

"This is the best general introductory—and yet original and thoughtful—book I have read that explains to readers the political significance of the term Anthropocene."—Dipesh Chakrabarty, University of Chicago

"The Birth of the Anthropocene offers a very striking argument about how we should and should not use the idea of the Anthropocene. What is more, it is beautifully written and very clear—a real joy to read.”—Daniel Lord Smail, Harvard University

"Jeremy Davies carefully explicates precisely what is at stake in the notion of the Anthropocene for environmental politics and for humanities and social science scholarship."—Ben Dibley, University of Western Sydney, Australia

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