How to Build a Habitable Planet and thousands of other textbooks are available for instant download on your Kindle Fire tablet or on the free Kindle apps for iPad, Android tablets, PC or Mac.
Buy New
$26.50
Qty:1
  • List Price: $39.95
  • Save: $13.45 (34%)
FREE Shipping on orders over $35.
In Stock.
Ships from and sold by Amazon.com.
Gift-wrap available.
Sell yours for a Gift Card
We'll buy it for $9.56
Learn More
Trade in now
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

How to Build a Habitable Planet: The Story of Earth from the Big Bang to Humankind Hardcover – July 22, 2012


See all 2 formats and editions Hide other formats and editions
Amazon Price New from Used from
Kindle
"Please retry"
Rent from
$11.13
Hardcover
"Please retry"
$26.50
$26.50 $19.98
Year-End%20Deals%20in%20Books


Frequently Bought Together

How to Build a Habitable Planet: The Story of Earth from the Big Bang to Humankind + A Short History of Nearly Everything
Price for both: $36.49

Buy the selected items together
NO_CONTENT_IN_FEATURE
Holiday Deals in Books
Holiday Deals in Books
Find deals for every reader in the Holiday Deals in Books store, featuring savings of up to 50% on cookbooks, children's books, literature & fiction, and more.

Product Details

  • Hardcover: 736 pages
  • Publisher: Princeton University Press; Revised and Expanded edition (July 22, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0691140065
  • ISBN-13: 978-0691140063
  • Product Dimensions: 2 x 7 x 10 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 3 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #253,550 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review


Honorable Mention for the 2012 Award for Best Professional/Scholarly Book in Earth Sciences, Association of American Publishers


"[T]his classic history of our common home with the latest discoveries in planetary science . . . is a cutting-edge exploration of the Earth's evolution from the Big Bang to the advent of human civilization."--Barnes & Noble Review



"To be worth being this unwieldy, a book ought to do something pretty remarkable. And that's just what How to Build . . . does, as you can tell from its subtitle, The Story of Earth from the Big Bang to Humankind. Now that's what you call a large canvas."--Brian Clegg, Popular Science



"Like any good story, the tale that Langmuir and Broecker tell is a complex, weaving narrative that would be ideally placed on your bookcase between James Kasting's How to Find a Habitable Planet and Peter Ward and Donald Brownlee's Rare Earth. . . . As non-astronomers they cover the initial cosmological and astronomical sections adequately, but as the book develops towards explaining the processes that make Earth habitable, the authors' expertise really comes to the fore. . . . How to Build a Habitable Planet is Earth's story, but Langmuir and Broecker conclude with a nod to exoplanets and the search for alien life. Could it one day also become another planet's story?"--Astronomy Now



"The authors . . . have taken on a mighty task. You cannot underestimate the accuracy of their scholarship, or its thoroughness."--Heather Couper, BBC Sky at Night



"This is a completely different book, wholly updated but also more detailed and more comprehensive. Yet, it keeps the bright flavour of the old version, and remains accessible without compromising on accuracy. . . . How to Build a Habitable Planet is an accurate and enjoyable read."--Euan G. Nisbet, Nature Geoscience



"Enormous advances have been made in the Earth sciences in the years since the original volume appeared. In addition, climate change has become a much more urgent topic. The revised version aims to bring the science up to date and to give a current environmental perspective. In this undertaking, Broecker has been joined by Langmuir, who now becomes first author. Their approach of providing each chapter with a clear introduction and summary will help greatly in accommodating the lay reader. . . . We can be grateful to the authors that they had the initiative and energy to undertake a scientific synthesis of such broad scope. . . . All who are concerned with the global environment and who wish to be scientifically well-informed in relation to it will find the book a worthwhile and inspirational challenge."--Ray Bates, Irish Times



"[Langmuir and Broecker] strike a nice balance with roughly an equal number of chapters devoted to life, earth, and extraterrestrial processes. . . . What makes it work is the authors' admirable job of focusing tightly on how the many processes they outline feed into life's makeup or systems needed to support it."--Choice



"Although this 718 page book is over twice as long compared to the first edition, it is still a comfortable read both for earth scientists as well as nonspecialists. The diverse topics dealt with have been skillfully stitched together and each chapter provides lucid descriptions, logical discussions and a nice summary. This book could be an useful text for undergraduate students in earth sciences and with necessary supplements, could also be used for advanced courses in earth sciences."--Ramananda Chakrabarti, Current Science



"I would recommend this book to anyone looking for a well-informed exploration of the theories behind building a habitable planet. Although complex in some places, it is still accessible to many and is overall a very useful addition to any astrobiologist's library."--Samantha Rolfe, Astrobiology Society of GB



"This classic account of how our habitable planet was assembled from the stuff of stars introduced readers to planetary, Earth, and climate science by way of a fascinating narrative. Now it has been made even better."--Lunar and Planetary Information Bulletin



"Generally speaking, the book by Langmuir & Broecker is very reader friendly. . . . It can become an essential reading for both beginners and professionals in geology, palaeontology, and other natural sciences. Geoscience educators will also praise it. . . . This book is a very good addition to the conventional textbooks on general geology, and it can be recommended for students as advanced reading."--Dmitry A. Ruban, Palaontologie Allgemein

From the Inside Flap


"In this comprehensive and engaging tour of environmental science, world-leading authorities Charles Langmuir and Wally Broecker provide the residents of the only habitable planet we know with the essential knowledge of how we got here and where we might be going."--Richard Alley, Pennsylvania State University


"As NASA continues to assess the habitability of our planetary neighbor, Mars, this insightful and approachable book is a timely reminder of how important it is to understand the habitability of our own Earth. Comprehensive and up-to-date, it exposes how ideas, imperfect understanding, and controversies drive scientific knowledge forward."--Roger Everett Summons, Massachusetts Institute of Technology


"This is a magnificent book, a successful and very worthwhile revision of its legendary and coveted first edition. The new edition offers more than a minor dusting off of the material. There are some completely new chapters and the authors have also done a good job of introducing newer discoveries. This book is more timely than ever, and I greet this revision with uncontained enthusiasm."--Raymond T. Pierrehumbert, University of Chicago


"This book is exceptionally well written and easy to read. The authors have taken a huge and complex topic and simplified it, removed the jargon, used analogies common to everyday experience, and as a result made a book that should be accessible and enjoyable to readers with little background in science."--Becky Alexander, University of Washington



More About the Author

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

Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars
5 star
5
4 star
1
3 star
1
2 star
0
1 star
0
See all 7 customer reviews
Let's hope lots of people read it!
Doug Reusch
Each chapter builds on the next, starting from the beginning of the universe; to the very beginning of our solar system.
Wabbit98
This is an indispensable resource and the material is very accessible.
Yvonne Stapp

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

11 of 11 people found the following review helpful By Wabbit98 on November 13, 2012
Format: Hardcover
How do you build a planet that is capable of supporting life? What needs to happen to make this possible? In this revised, and greatly expanded, second edition the authors answer that question through a step-by-step guide. Each chapter builds on the next, starting from the beginning of the universe; to the very beginning of our solar system. The first edition was published in 1985, since then we have learned so much more about our planet and the universe around us. From plate tectonics, to exo-solar planets; even our understanding of the genetic code has improved. It is with great anticipation to read this work, for it brings together in one volume everything you need to know.

They cover all the major topics, but they keep it readable for the educated reader. You do not need to be a scientist to understand this book. It should be read by those people who want to more about how planets, stars, and solar systems form. The writing is precise, easy to read, with many pictures, graphs, and charts to help the reader. I hope that it is not twenty years before the next edition.
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
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Doug Reusch on August 31, 2012
Format: Hardcover
I've chosen to use this book for my intro geology course this fall. Chapters 19 and 20, on resources and our present predicament, should be required reading for all voting citizens on the planet. Future generations owe Drs. Langmuir and Broecker a huge thank-you. Let's hope lots of people read it!
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
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Yvonne Stapp on May 22, 2014
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This is an indispensable resource and the material is very accessible. The book starts with the Big Bang and describes the evolution of the universe: stars, galaxies, solar systems and their contents, and on to Earth. This background prepares us for the relationship between the co-evolution of our planet and the life it supports. This comprehensive, multi-dimensional approach makes us realize (1) that we are part of a huge interconnected bio-geo-chemical and physical network; and (2) that humans have a special responsibility to protect that natural network.
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
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By John Cisne on November 8, 2014
Format: Hardcover
Spring, 2015 will be the third semester I’ve used “How to Build a Habitable Planet” in my introductory class, “Evolution of the Earth and Life.”

This book, play-tested for several years in the authors’ classes at Harvard, is incomparably the best introductory textbook on Earth systems and their evolution.

In the earth sciences, as in other fields, big-name publishers have been shamelessly short-changing students who want a good education. Standard textbooks are slickly produced picture books priced to make money at $100 a pop off huge “rocks for jocks” classes required by big universities in the Oil Patch; they are dumbed down accordingly, and advertised to professors shamelessly (and not in so many words) as “buy-a-textbook-and-go-through it” timesavers. These books commonly bill themselves as “the first textbook to fully incorporate earth systems science” just as they a generation ago as “the first textbook to fully incorporate plate tectonic,” and, by and large, have kept the tried-and-true plan that dates back in its essentials to James Dwight Dana.

I’d given up on stuff like this years ago. I’ve been teaching a systems-based course of my own design using lengthy lecture notes as a framework for a variety of recommended readings. Unable to find the many diagrams I’d wanted for teaching, and having gotten tired of sketching them on the blackboard every year, I’d broken down and produced them as PostScript graphics.

The original edition of “How to Build a Habitable Planet” (1984), published by “Eldigio Press” from Wally Broecker’s lecture notes from his course at Columbia, was good for small, informal, seminar-like classes. The present Revised Edition is fleshed out sufficiently for regular introductory courses.

I couldn’t believe the price when I first saw it. As it clearly testifies, the authors have been out to do humanity a service, and Princeton University Press has cooperated admirably.
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

What Other Items Do Customers Buy After Viewing This Item?