Books

1491: New Revelations of the Americas Before Columbus (Alfred A. Knopf, 2005; corr. and rev. ed., Vintage, 2006)

“Riveting and fast-paced ... masterfully assembles a diverse body of scholarship into a first-rate history of Native America” — Publishers Weekly • “A journalistic masterpiece” — New York Review of Books“Marvelous ... a sweeping portrait of human life in the Americas before Columbus”New York Times • “A landmark of a book that drops ingrained images of colonial America into the dustbin one after the other”Boston Globe

 

@ Large: The Strange Case of the Worlds Biggest Internet Invasion (1998), written with David H. Freedman

“Chilling” — Boston Globe • “A thriller ... spine-chilling”—Time Digital • “An absorbing page-flipper”—Business Week • “The best non-fictional computer tale since Cliff Stoll’s The Cuckoo’s Nest ... you won’t be able to put this book down”—San Jose Mercury News • “Not only a wake-up call, but a hugely entertaining book”—Steven Levy

 

Noahs Choice: The Future of Endangered Species (1996), written with Mark L. Plummer

Provocative, timely and reasonable” — Publishers Weekly • “Elegant” — Washington Post • “Thoughtful” — Los Angeles Times • “A valuable work. It would be a good thing if we all read this book city people and ranchers, ecologists and economists, tree huggers and loggers” — New York Times • “lucid and evenhanded ... uncommonly readable” — Insight on the News • “Must reading for anyone concerned about biodiversity ... an absorbing tour of the current species-extinction crisis. [The authors] transform arcane scientific argument into compelling explanation” — Kirkus

 

The Aspirin Wars: Money, Medicine and 100 Years of Rampant Competition (1991), written with Mark L. Plummer

“Broadly researched, brilliantly written ... informative, interesting and sometimes outrageously funny” — Washington Times • “Truly fascinating” — New York Times • “Rich in anecdote” — Los Angeles Times • “Provocative, timely and reasonable” — Publishers Weekly • “A masterful, comprehensive account of aspirin’s amazing history. With page-turning wit and insight, [The Aspirin Wars] illuminates the intricacies and interrelationships of chemistry and biology, politics and espionage, advertising, and marketing, and regulation and the law” — Chicago Tribune

 

The Second Creation: Makers of the Revolution in Twentieth-Century Physics (1986, rev. ed. 1995), written with Robert P. Crease

An absolutely marvelous book. No one who cares about science should miss reading it” — Timothy Ferris“Gives a real feeling of the intense work that goes into major scientific discoveries and of the people who can deal with this kind of intellectual and emotional pressure” — The New Yorker • “Without qualification, this is the best account of the phenomenal story of physics in the twentieth century” — Dick Teresi • One of Publishers Weekly’s Top 15 Books of the Year

 
Books I am Associated With

Hungry Planet: What the World Eats by Peter Menzel and Faith D’Aluisio (Ten Speed Press, 2005)

I helped with the editing of this book and contributed a short essay. Photographed and written by two old friends (see below), it is nothing less than a global survey of what humankind eats at a moment when culinary culture around the world is undergoing a profound change.

Women in the Material World by Faith D’Aluisio and Peter Menzel (Sierra Club, 1996)

A followup to the earlier Material World, this book revisits many of the women in that book to provide a portrait of women's conditions around the world. I helped edit the book, which was shot by a team of female photographers and writers organized by my friends D’Aluisio and Menzel.

 

Material World: A Global Family Portrait by Peter Menzel (Sierra Club, 1995)

In the U.N.'s Year of the Family, my friend Peter Menzel organized a team of photographers to visit 30 statistically average families around the world. The photographers lived with the family for a week, documenting their lives, and then, at the end of their stay, made a portrait of them surrounded by their material possessions. The result, a classic, has sold half a million copies. I wrote the text, but the pictures are the thing here.