Gaia: A New Look at Life on Earth and over one million other books are available for Amazon Kindle. Learn more
Buy New
$15.08
Qty:1
  • List Price: $19.99
  • Save: $4.91 (25%)
FREE Shipping on orders over $35.
In Stock.
Ships from and sold by Amazon.com.
Gift-wrap available.
Gaia: A New Look at Life ... has been added to your Cart
Have one to sell? Sell on Amazon
Flip to back Flip to front
Listen Playing... Paused   You're listening to a sample of the Audible audio edition.
Learn more
See this image

Gaia: A New Look at Life on Earth Paperback – November 23, 2000

ISBN-13: 978-0192862181 ISBN-10: 0192862189 Edition: Subsequent

Buy New
Price: $15.08
50 New from $5.99 47 Used from $0.80
Amazon Price New from Used from
Kindle
"Please retry"
Hardcover
"Please retry"
Paperback
"Please retry"
$15.08
$5.99 $0.80
Free%20Two-Day%20Shipping%20for%20College%20Students%20with%20Amazon%20Student


Frequently Bought Together

Gaia: A New Look at Life on Earth + The Vanishing Face of Gaia: A Final Warning + The Revenge of Gaia: Earth's Climate Crisis & The Fate of Humanity
Price for all three: $37.48

Buy the selected items together

If you buy a new print edition of this book (or purchased one in the past), you can buy the Kindle edition for only $2.99 (Save 67%). Print edition purchase must be sold by Amazon. Learn more.


Best Books of the Month
Best Books of the Month
Want to know our Editors' picks for the best books of the month? Browse Best Books of the Month, featuring our favorite new books in more than a dozen categories.

Product Details

  • Paperback: 176 pages
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press; Subsequent edition (November 23, 2000)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0192862189
  • ISBN-13: 978-0192862181
  • Product Dimensions: 7.7 x 5.1 x 0.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 5 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (29 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #108,454 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review


"This may turn out to be one of the epochal insights of the 20th century."--CoEvolution Quarterly


"The most fascinating book that I have read for a long time....Both original and well-written."--New Scientist


"Places a daring hypothesis before the general reader....[His book] is the exciting and personal argument of an original thinker caught up in wonder."--Philip Morrison, Scientific American


"A book that I have read with immense pleasure."--René Dubos, Nature


--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

About the Author


James Lovelock is an independent scientist, inventor, and author. He was elected Fellow of the Royal Society in 1974 and in 1990 was awarded the first Amsterdam Prize for the Environment by the Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences. One of his inventions is the electron capture detector, which was important in the development of environmental awareness. It revealed for the first time the ubiquitous distribution of pesticide residues. He co-operated with NASA and some of his inventions were adopted in their programme of planetary exploration.

More About the Author

Discover books, learn about writers, read author blogs, and more.

Customer Reviews

The book really can change the way one looks at Earth.
Jim Harrigan
Everyone should read this book and, despite its faults, it is readable.
Mr. C. Doyle
They saw the earth as a single unit...beautiful and fragile.
C. Clayton

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

53 of 58 people found the following review helpful By Donald Mitchell HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on May 17, 2000
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
James Lovelock has created a powerful and interesting argument in this book that will keep scientists busy for centuries. He notices that there is an ability for the Earth to maintain relatively constant conditions in temperature, atmosphere, salinity and pH of the oceans, and reductions in pollutants that defies the simple observations of what "should" happen. From this, he concludes that there is a complex of physical, chemical and biological interrelationships that work like a living organism, which he defines as the Gaia Hypothesis. For defining that concept and providing some of the measurements to establish its premises, he deserves a 7 star rating.
Unfortunately, the argument is expressed in overlong and convoluted fashion. He deliberately limits himself to a nonscientific explanation in this book. The scientific version of the argument is in The Ages of Gaia. Although the book is not long, it certainly could have been condensed into a longish article for Scientific American or The Atlantic Monthly. My second quibble is that the editor was nowhere in sight on the organization of the book. The key point is often buried in the third sentence of the last paragraph in a chapter. The argument in between wanders into all kinds of places where it doesn't need to go. For organization and editing, I give this book a one star rating.
So the average is a 4 star rating. The writing itself is pleasant enough. Don't let the lack of organization and editing put you off, for it is worth your while to read this book. It will remind you of the benefits of the sort of sytems thinking that Peter Senge talks about in The Fifth Discipline.
Read more ›
2 Comments Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
29 of 33 people found the following review helpful By nina_poppy.staniford@virgin.net on September 10, 1997
Format: Paperback
Although parts of the text are confusing and too deep for a mere mortal like myself, this book changed the whole way I look at the earth and my own role upon it, not to mention the part my species is taking. Reading and re-reading yields great rewards, the arguments, whether agreed with or not, are cogent and thought provoking, and will provide for many a night spent in those deep discussions with friends
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
11 of 11 people found the following review helpful By Cybele on January 2, 2005
Format: Paperback
Gaia: A New Look at Life on Earth is an overall good read. J.E. Lovelock gives valuable insight into the Gaia theory and supports it with convincing evidence of a surprisingly large variety. Proving that the life in Earth's biosphere may sound like a dauntingly complex task, but this little book presents information in a way that even the less scientifically minded can understand; high school and college students everywhere will applaud the lack of a dictionary in this particular reading experience. The analogies used throughout the book are creative and sometimes odd, but help immensely with the reader's understanding of the subject.

The content of this book is fascinating and highly credible. Even better, the chapters are well organized for a comprehensible read. Lovelock, while mostly concerned with explaining the Gaia theory itself, also endeavors to address questions the contemporary reader would present, such as what processes are a part of Gaia, what effect pollution has on Gaia, and what human population Gaia can sustain. He also hypothesizes on how Gaia came to be, what could injure Gaia on a global scale, and how humans can harmonize with Gaia.

Though this little layman's guide is very interesting and well-written, this high school student thinks that going a bit more in-depth and focusing instances of conjecture more if possible, though these suggestions may well have been addressed since the 1989 version. I'm sure there is much more information and support for the Gaia theory since then, and the recent edition even has a spiffy new cover.

I give this book a three for the fluency with which it presents an obscure theory to the masses, and the convincing evidence actually used.
Read more ›
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
20 of 23 people found the following review helpful By Philip Carl on June 8, 2003
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Reading Edward Wilson's "The Future of Life" served as the spark to pick up and read this book. And its true, good things do come in small packages. The book is all of 140 pages, and is written in a lean, but not glossed-over style. Robert Lovelock (to my knowledge) is the contemporary father of the study of the earth as a complete living system.
Lovelock readily admits that the book serves more to promote the dialog about our planet as a living, breathing whole and to share key discoveries that support his concept. (He states in the Preface that his follow-on book, "The Ages of Gaia" aims to build the scientific argument to the Gaia theory.)

By no means, does Lovelock detour around the science that supports his case. With the scope of the topic requiring knowledge of both physical and biological science, and the small number of pages, he manages to instruct and create a sense of awe in a short amount of time.
The 3 major principles he brings to light about Gaia are:
1. Gaia exhibits a tendency to keep conditions (e.g., temperature, air quality) constant for all terrestrial life.
2. Like other living systems, Gaia has vital organs at the core, and expandable or redundant ones on the periphery.
3. Under the worse conditions, Gaia responses similar to other cybernetic systems (i.e., where time constant and loop gain are important)
The material is far reaching in both its scope and in shaping our understanding of where we stand. Put in the context of Gaia, we have straddled ourselves to the largest of all known living and breathing creatures.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again

Most Recent Customer Reviews