Books

Grove Press
Grove Press
Grove Press

The Eternal Frontier

An Ecological History of North America and Its Peoples

by Tim Flannery

“A sweeping natural history of North America from its birth as a self-contained continent in the Cretaceous Era to its current precarious status as an ecological superpower. . . . Natural history par excellence.” –Kirkus Reviews (starred review)

  • Imprint Grove Paperback
  • Page Count 432
  • Publication Date May 20, 2002
  • ISBN-13 978-0-8021-3888-0
  • Dimensions 6" x 9"
  • US List Price $19.00
  • Imprint Grove Paperback
  • Publication Date January 07, 2015
  • ISBN-13 978-0-8021-9109-0
  • US List Price $16.00

About The Book

“Tim Flannery’s account of North America from the end of the dinosaurs to the contemporary ecological crisis makes a thrilling, beautifully written story. It will fascinate Americans and non-Americans alike.” –Jared Diamond, author of Guns, Germs, and Steel

In The Eternal Frontier, world-renowned scientist and historian Tim Flannery tells the unforgettable story of the geological and biological evolution of the North American continent, from the time of the asteroid strike that ended the age of dinosaurs 65 million years ago, to the present day. Flannery describes the development of North America’s deciduous forests and other flora, and tracks the immigration and emigration of various animals to and from Europe, Asia, and South America, showing how plant and animal species have either adapted or become extinct. The story takes in the massive changes wrought by the ice ages and the coming of the Indians, and continues right up to the present, covering the deforestation of the Northeast, the decimation of the buffalo, and other facets of the enormous impact of frontier settlement and the development of the industrial might of the United States.

Natural history on a monumental scale, The Eternal Frontier contains an enormous wealth of fascinating scientific details, and Flannery’s accessible and dynamic writing makes the book a delight to read. This is science writing at its very best–a riveting page-turner that is simultaneously an accessible and scholarly trove of incredible information that is already being hailed by critics as a classic.

Tim Flannery is the director of the South Australian Museum. He was previously the principal research scientist at the Australian Museum in Sydney and has also been a visiting professor of Australian studies at Harvard University. He is the author of eight books, including The Future Eaters, his award-winning history of Australian ecology.

Praise

“No one before Flannery . . . has been brave enough to tackle the whole pageant of North America. . . . Flannery synthesizes a vast range of scientific studies and a decent selection of historical and cultural writings, leavening those with his own forceful ideas . . . to explain America, in the largest sense, to Americans. . . . What he has done, reckless soul, amounts to offering himself as the Tocqueville of American biogeography.” –David Quammen, The New York Times Book Review

“Tim Flannery’s book will forever change your perspective on the North American continent. . . . Flannery guides us on a sweeping odyssey through time, in which he synthesizes vast amounts of information from geology, paleontology, and human history. . . . A penetrating, introspective account of the role we humans are playing on the evolutionary stage. . . . Exhilarating.” –John Terborgh, The New York Review of Books

“Full of engaging and attention-catching information about North America’s geology, climate, and paleontology. Readers will carry away plenty of amusing snippets, a supply that could fill blank spots in the conversation at dinner parties for years to come.

” –Patricia Nelson Limerick, The Washington Post Book World

“Bold . . . Flannery’s chronicle of evolutionary triumphs and setbacks, foreign invasions, and the rise of some continental specialties–such as horses, camels, dogs, and even cheetahs–would alone make the book worth reading. . . . Watch out, fellow North Americans. This gutsy Aussie may have read our landscape and ecological history with greater clarity than any native son.” –David A. Burney, Natural History

“[Flannery] has a particular talent for assembling and presenting the strands of his engaging narrative. He effectively weaves together descriptions of moving continents, shifting climates, and changing flora and fauna.” –Stuart Pimm, Science

“Fascinating. The very idea that the coming and going of so many species has been determined is provocative of itself.” –Edna M. Boardman, Kliatt

“A sweeping natural history of North America from its birth as a self-contained continent in the Cretaceous Era to its current precarious status as an ecological superpower. . . . Natural history par excellence.” –Kirkus Reviews (starred review)

“The scope of [Flannery’s] story is huge, and his research exhaustive. . . . It’s enough to make this reader want to trade the safety of her superpower government for the sound of a passenger pigeon flying overhead Lauren Gravitz, The Christian Science Monitor

“Splendid . . . Flannery has been compared to those other popularizers of historical biology, Stephen Jay Gould and Jared Diamond. I think he is superior. He is a better writer than either. . . . Tim Flannery is the real thing: a man with a gift for lucid exposition, who can really make his subject come alive.”–Frank McLynn, Literary Review

“Tim Flannery’s account of North America from the end of the dinosaurs to the contemporary ecological crisis makes a thrilling, beautifully written story.” –Jared Diamond, author of Guns, Germs, and Steel

“If you are looking for solid science sprinkled with the kind of anecdotal facts suitable for a cocktail party, Tom Flannery’s book, The Eternal Frontier, will delight you.” –The Explorers Journal