List Price: $39.95
Save: $11.96 (30%)
& FREE Shipping. Details
Arrives: Sunday, Dec 6 Details
Fastest delivery: Wednesday, Dec 2 Details
In Stock.
As an alternative, the Kindle eBook is available now and can be read on any device with the free Kindle app. Want to listen? Try Audible.
Your transaction is secure
We work hard to protect your security and privacy. Our payment security system encrypts your information during transmission. We don’t share your credit card details with third-party sellers, and we don’t sell your information to others. Learn more
Ships from
Sold by
Ships from

Sold by

Return policy: Returnable until Jan 31, 2021
For the 2020 holiday season, returnable items shipped between October 1 and December 31 can be returned until January 31, 2021.
Growth: From Microorganis... has been added to your Cart
& FREE Shipping
Used: Good | Details
Condition: Used: Good
Comment: Pages are clean with normal wear. May have limited markings &/or highlighting within pages &/or cover. May have some wear & creases on the cover. The spine may also have minor wear. May not include CD/DVD, access code or any other supplemental materials.

Other Sellers on Amazon
Add to Cart
+ $3.99 shipping
Sold by: ---SuperBookDeals
Add to Cart
+ Free Shipping
Sold by: Publisher Direct
Add to Cart
+ Free Shipping
Sold by: ZiFiti
Have one to sell?
Loading your book clubs
There was a problem loading your book clubs. Please try again.
Not in a club? Learn more
Amazon book clubs early access

Join or create book clubs

Choose books together

Track your books
Bring your club to Amazon Book Clubs, start a new book club and invite your friends to join, or find a club that’s right for you for free.
Flip to back Flip to front
Listen Playing... Paused   You're listening to a sample of the Audible audio edition.
Learn more

Follow the Author

Something went wrong. Please try your request again later.

Growth: From Microorganisms to Megacities (The MIT Press) Hardcover – Illustrated, September 24, 2019

4.5 out of 5 stars 182 ratings

See all formats and editions Hide other formats and editions
New from Used from
Hardcover, Illustrated
$25.65 $19.00
Get 3 for the price of 2. Shop items

Amazon Book Review | Discover your next great read
click to open popover

Enter your mobile number or email address below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.

  • Apple
  • Android
  • Windows Phone
    Windows Phone
  • Click here to download from Amazon appstore

To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number.


Frequently bought together

  • Growth: From Microorganisms to Megacities (The MIT Press)
  • +
  • Energy and Civilization: A History (The MIT Press)
  • +
  • Good Economics for Hard Times
Total price: $65.04
Buy the selected items together

Special offers and product promotions

  • Get 3 for the price of 2. Offered by Shop items
  • Amazon Business : For business-only pricing, quantity discounts and FREE Shipping. Register a free business account

Editorial Reviews


An epic, multidisciplinary analysis of growth.—Guardian

Smil, whose research spans energy, population and environmental change, drives home the cost of growth on a finite planet. It is high: polluted land, air and water, lost wilderness and rising levels of atmospheric carbon dioxide.... Growth urges us to think differently. That is desperately needed to manage the trade-offs in making renewables more efficient, improving economic incentives for fast adoption, minimizing environmental degradation and bettering lives in a swelling population.


Growth, whether biological, social or economic, may be normal, [Smil] says, but the exponential growth in economies and lifestyles we have seen in recent decades isn't, and can't continue without disastrous consequences.

New Scientist

Growth is filled with numbers, graphs and mathematical notation. Yet it's written to be easily understood by non-mathematicians, making brilliant but accessible use of statistics to illustrate salient features of growth in all its terrestrial forms (the book's scope is limited to Earth). In short, Growth is a compelling read.

Resilience: International Policies, Practices and Discourses

A somewhat eccentric but really rather compelling read. The subtitle indicates its ambition. We do literally go from the growth dynamics of archaea and bacteria all the way to empires.... The joy of this book is less in the big picture than in the detail. And what a lot of it! The mind boggles at Smil's extensive reading and absorption of information. We get the speed at which marathons are run – over the entire course of human history; the growth rates of piglets and weight of chickens over time; sales of small non-industrial motors over time; the envelope for the maximum speed of travel; Kuznets cycles; Zipf's law for city size.... The middle section of chapters offer a fantastic overview of technical progress over long periods in a wide range of technologies. I love all this detail.

Diane Coyle, The Enlightened Economist

A rich and unique work from one of the leading interdisciplinary minds in the world today.... An outstanding reference guide for growth in its many forms, I don't hesitate to say that Growth should find its way onto the bookshelves of everybody interested in understanding the complexity of growth and how it affects the urban landscape.

Spacing Vancouver

In his new book, Growth — a dense, 500-page treatise that covers everything from 'microorganisms to megacities,'... Smil makes perhaps an even-more-off-putting proposition: that in order to 'ensure the habitability of the biosphere,' we must at the very least move away from prioritizing growth and perhaps abandon it entirely.

New York Magazine

Smil's weighty tome turns out to be both entertaining and erudite, exploring the benefits and limits of material growth to reach a fundamental point about the uncertainty of civilization's survival and the importance of maintaining a habitable biosphere to ensure it.



Vaclav Smil does for the history of energy what Thomas Piketty did for the history of inequality. And his findings are just as uncomfortable.

Rutger Bregman, historian and author of Utopia for Realists (2017) and Humankind (2020)

Product details

  • Item Weight : 2.3 pounds
  • Hardcover : 664 pages
  • ISBN-10 : 0262042835
  • ISBN-13 : 978-0262042833
  • Dimensions : 6.38 x 1.63 x 9.38 inches
  • Publisher : The MIT Press; Illustrated edition (September 24, 2019)
  • Language: : English
  • Customer Reviews:
    4.5 out of 5 stars 182 ratings

Customer reviews

4.5 out of 5 stars
4.5 out of 5
182 global ratings
How are ratings calculated?

Top reviews from the United States

Reviewed in the United States on May 12, 2020
Verified Purchase
12 people found this helpful
Comment Report abuse
Reviewed in the United States on February 12, 2020
Verified Purchase
5 people found this helpful
Comment Report abuse
Reviewed in the United States on December 26, 2019
Verified Purchase
5 people found this helpful
Comment Report abuse
Reviewed in the United States on January 22, 2020
16 people found this helpful
Comment Report abuse
Reviewed in the United States on February 6, 2020
5 people found this helpful
Comment Report abuse

Top reviews from other countries

Peter - Denmark
1.0 out of 5 stars I gave up after 100 pages...
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on January 25, 2020
Verified Purchase
5.0 out of 5 stars Compelling
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on February 16, 2020
Verified Purchase
Lady B Bellie
5.0 out of 5 stars Good
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on October 8, 2019
Verified Purchase
One person found this helpful
Report abuse
Theo Kitsos
5.0 out of 5 stars Received
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on March 31, 2020
Verified Purchase
Pouria B.
4.0 out of 5 stars Ocean of Knowledge
Reviewed in Canada on October 21, 2019
Verified Purchase
2 people found this helpful
Report abuse