Welcome to the
2018-19 UM-Flint Common Read!
We invite you to read the selected text and join in discussions and programs in both the Fall and Winter semesters. Since 2011, the Common Read Committee has selected a book that students, faculty, and staff are encouraged to read, in order to bring the campus together around a common reading experience and the conversations it generates. The author of the book generally visits campus, delivering a keynote address and meeting with small groups of students and faculty.
The 2018-2019 Common Read is
Elizabeth Kolbert's The Sixth Extinction
The Sixth Extinction is an accessible, deeply researched, and timely book on the destructive impact that the modern world has had on the environment and therefore also on the plant and animal world that human civilization relies on for its existence. After reviewing the five previous mass extinction events in the earth’s history, the last of which was caused by a massive asteroid striking the earth 66 million years ago, Kolbert argues that humans are currently living through and drastically accelerating another era of mass extinction, which she calls the sixth extinction.
In The Sixth Extinction, the reader follows Kolbert on her travels to endangered ecosystems throughout the world, meets numerous species on the verge of extinction, and listens to conversations between the author and leading scientists in a wide range of fields.
Ms. Kolbert shows in these pages that she can write with elegiac poetry about the vanishing creatures of this planet, but the real power of her book resides in the hard science and historical context she delivers here, documenting the mounting losses that human beings are leaving in their wake.
— New York Times review