The World Without Us

By Alan Weisman,

Book cover of The World Without Us

Book description

Revised Edition with New Afterword from the Author

Time #1 Nonfiction Book of the Year

Finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award

Over 3 million copies sold in 35 Languages

"On the day after humans disappear, nature takes over and immediately begins cleaning house - or houses, that is.…

Shepherd is reader supported. When you buy books, we may earn an affiliate commission.

Why read it?

3 authors picked The World Without Us as one of their favorite books. Why do they recommend it?

Much SF&F literature has explored the concept of what the world might look like with fewer (or no) humans.

Weisman’s well-researched book imagines how our environment would recover; how nature might take back control without humans around to continue wrecking it.

He imagines the primacy of nature in a fascinating way and manages to avoid the normative language that might be off-putting, drawing the reader into a place that might as well be 1000 light years away from Earth.

From Kevin's list on SF&F for spring.

When trying to imagine what would happen if civilization collapsed, you run up against some really basic, logistical details. Like, what actually happens to all our stuff, if no one's around to take care of it? Turns out, it falls apart a lot quicker than you'd think. Anyone who's noticed the grass and saplings coming up through the pavement in an abandoned lot after just a couple of years understands this. Now expand that to everything. Weisman's book asks questions about this post-people world I didn't even know to ask and the answers are fascinating.

From Carrie's list on imagining life after an apocalypse.

What would happen to the Earth if humans suddenly disappeared? Weisman shows that while some aspects of nature could recover surprisingly quickly, humans have managed to pollute so widely and in such remote pockets of the planet that our presence could still be traceable thousands of years from now.

From Chris' list on rethink nature.

Want books like The World Without Us?

Our community of 10,000+ authors has personally recommended 100 books like The World Without Us.

Browse books like The World Without Us

5 book lists we think you will like!

Interested in materialism, plants, and nature?

10,000+ authors have recommended their favorite books and what they love about them. Browse their picks for the best books about materialism, plants, and nature.

Materialism Explore 46 books about materialism
Plants Explore 22 books about plants
Nature Explore 143 books about nature