Harvard Professor of Geochemistry Charles Langmuir celebrates the revised edition of the book that has introduced generations of readers to the science of Earth’s origin and evolution

“Life evolves in relationship with the planet, and progressively modifies it to form a single integrated system.”–Charles Langmuir

View the video from its original source at Harvard Museum of Natural History’s website:


How to Build a Habitable Planet:
The Story of Earth from the Big Bang to Humankind (Revised and Expanded Edition)


Charles H. Langmuir & Wally Broecker

Since its first publication more than twenty-five years ago, How to Build a Habitable Planet has established a legendary reputation as an accessible yet scientifically impeccable introduction to the origin and evolution of Earth, from the Big Bang through the rise of human civilization. This classic account of how our habitable planet was assembled from the stuff of stars introduced readers to planetary, Earth, and climate science by way of a fascinating narrative. Now this great book has been made even better. Harvard geochemist Charles Langmuir has worked closely with the original author, Wally Broecker, one of the world’s leading Earth scientists, to revise and expand the book for a new generation of readers for whom active planetary stewardship is becoming imperative.

“To be worth being this unwieldy, a book ought to do something pretty remarkable. And that’s just what How to Build . . . does, as you can tell from its subtitle, The Story of Earth from the Big Bang to Humankind. Now that’s what you call a large canvas.”–Brian Clegg, Popular Science