Growth: From Microorganisms to Megacities (Hardcover)

COVID-19 Notification

PLEASE READ BEFORE PLACING AN ORDER: 

  • Thank you for your overwhelming support! We are 48 hours behind processing online orders.
  • As COVID-19 cases surge across the country, we have decided to close our doors for in-store browsing for three weeks beginning on Saturday, November 14
  • During these three weeks, we will offer priority shipping to anywhere in the U.S. as well as curbside pickup in the parking lot behind our store from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. seven days a week.
  • Do NOT come to the store until you get a confirmation email that your order is complete and ready for pickup!
  • OUR ONLINE STORE WILL BE CLOSED ON THURSDAY, NOVEMBER 26 TO GIVE OUR STAFF A MUCH-DESERVED BREAK!
  • Women & Children First is not responsible for lost or stolen packages.
Growth: From Microorganisms to Megacities Cover Image
$39.95
Usually Ships in 1-5 Days

Description


A systematic investigation of growth in nature and society, from tiny organisms to the trajectories of empires and civilizations.

Growth has been both an unspoken and an explicit aim of our individual and collective striving. It governs the lives of microorganisms and galaxies; it shapes the capabilities of our extraordinarily large brains and the fortunes of our economies. Growth is manifested in annual increments of continental crust, a rising gross domestic product, a child's growth chart, the spread of cancerous cells. In this magisterial book, Vaclav Smil offers systematic investigation of growth in nature and society, from tiny organisms to the trajectories of empires and civilizations.

Smil takes readers from bacterial invasions through animal metabolisms to megacities and the global economy. He begins with organisms whose mature sizes range from microscopic to enormous, looking at disease-causing microbes, the cultivation of staple crops, and human growth from infancy to adulthood. He examines the growth of energy conversions and man-made objects that enable economic activities--developments that have been essential to civilization. Finally, he looks at growth in complex systems, beginning with the growth of human populations and proceeding to the growth of cities. He considers the challenges of tracing the growth of empires and civilizations, explaining that we can chart the growth of organisms across individual and evolutionary time, but that the progress of societies and economies, not so linear, encompasses both decline and renewal. The trajectory of modern civilization, driven by competing imperatives of material growth and biospheric limits, Smil tells us, remains uncertain.

About the Author


Vaclav Smil is Distinguished Professor Emeritus at the University of Manitoba. He is the author of forty books, including Energy and Civilization, published by the MIT Press. In 2010 he was named by Foreign Policy as one of the Top 100 Global Thinkers. In 2013 Bill Gates wrote on his website that "there is no author whose books I look forward to more than Vaclav Smil."
Product Details
ISBN: 9780262042833
ISBN-10: 0262042835
Publisher: MIT Press
Publication Date: September 24th, 2019
Pages: 664
Language: English