"The story of carbon is an exciting journey and Eric Roston is a super storyteller!"

Roald Hoffmann, 1981 Nobel Laureate in Chemistry.

"Roston is a whirlwind... gives readers a substantial context to the sound bites concerning climate change that are flung at us with little explanation... lucid and occasionally disturbing."
Pub Weekly, Booklist, Kirkus Reviews
The Carbon Age was included among The Boston Globe's most anticipated books of the year.


Praise for The Carbon Age

Newsweek: "This elegant volume takes readers on a grand tour of carbon's role in the universe, from the element's star-crossed birth billions of years ago to its role in the fossil-fuel industry and global warming."

The Washington Post's Juliet Eilperin, on NPR's All Things Considered: "Roston's book convinced me that the fastest way to understand "everything larger than an atom and smaller than a planet," is through the element carbon. It occupies a central role in the current debate about climate, but it's also found in the food we eat, the pills we pop — even high-end tennis rackets and bicycles."

Sir John Meurig Thomas in Nature: "Providing for the layman the 'connective tissue' of a vast array of subdisciplines... this US-centric monograph is a success, especially in dealing with climate change... Roston's approach calls to mind the Christmas lectures given by Michael Faraday at the Royal Institution of Great Britain... Roston's fluent writing can be pleasing, no more so than in the chapters entitled 'CO2 and the Tree of Life' and 'The Potential of Biological Fuels,' and in his prologue...
It is teeming with unexpected information and is a grand tour of the Universe."

Discover: "There's a bigger story to this man-made time bomb than makes the headlines."

Nature Reports: Climate Change ""Although this remarkable element has recently become something of a media celebrity, few who write about it will have thought too deeply about its origins — and its significance in the wider universe. Eric Roston is an exception, and his stimulating, detailed and thoroughly informative book provides a welcome slew of context for the humdrum daily dose of 'low-carbon this, high-carbon that' now peppering the newspapers... The Carbon Age is well worth getting stuck into... There are some great bits of information to impress your friends at parties: who knew that in the time it takes to read this sentence, your cells make 17 million billion base pairs of DNA? Thank you, Eric Roston..."

New Scientist: "Roston fits in discourses on bulletproof vests, buckyballs and more, quoting everyone from Hippocrates to Yoko Ono. Carbon neutral it isn't."

Publishers Weekly: "Roston, a former Time writer on technology and energy, positively revels in the chance to dig deep into the ubiquitous, life-enabling carbon... Roston is a whirlwind..."

Booklist: "If atomic number 6 could ever write its autobiography, the result might resemble Roston's engaging presentation."

Library Journal: "Roston... gives readers a substantial context to the sound bytes concerning climate change... that are flung at us with little explanation... [He]leads us patiently and clearly through this complex issue."

Kirkus Reviews: "A high-level entry in the single-element history genre from [former] Time magazine technology writer Roston... Lucid and occasionally disturbing."

Chemical Heritage Newsmagazine: "Throughout the book Roston delights in the details... ends on a hopeful note..."

Nuvo: "Sometimes you decide you're just going to underline the significant parts of a non-fiction book. And sometimes — as in the case of Eric Roston's new book, The Carbon Age— you end up pretty much underlining the entire thing."

Profiles and Interviews

The Colbert Report: Stephen asks Eric Roston if he believes carbon is the Al Qaeda of elements.

TIME: "[A]s Eric Roston points out in his engaging new book, The Carbon Age: How Life's Core Element Has Become Civilization's Greatest Threat, C is about more than just CO2. 'If you think about carbon only in terms of climate change, you're missing out,' he says. 'If you want to learn about the world, the fastest way is to follow the carbon.'

Science Progress: "What are people going to think fifty years from now when they look back and say this is a civilization of people completely bored out of their skulls about geology, yet who excavated carbon minerals out of the ground to make their economy run? Economics is geology; it is powered by rocks we pull out of the ground." — ER

The John Batchelor Show: Speaking with gifted science writer Eric Roston and his captivating and authoritative The Carbon Age.

The Kojo Nnamdi Show: Carbon is one of the key building blocks of life as we know it. It can be found in human DNA, in tennis rackets, and in the bubbles of popular soft drinks. But "carbon footprint" has also become one the buzz phrases in the debate over how best to reduce pollution that contributes to global warming. Join Kojo as we look at the importance of this core element -- and the role it plays in our planet's health.

DC Examiner.: "I'm an accidental science writer. I covered mostly business and technology at Time, focusing on energy and climate. After a while, I started asking myself how I would make sense of everything I'm covering." &mdash ER

Focus 580 with David Inge: Interview with Eric Roston, Journalist and formerly a Science Policy and Technology Writer with Time.

Rush Limbaugh: "Hello! Global warming!"


Joseph Romm's ClimateProgress: "If Time magazine can call it 'engaging' with a 'powerful conclusion,' then I can certainly testify it is the definitive book on the most vital — and most dangerous — element in the universe."

Colin Beavan's No Impact Man: "There are a few reasons why a No Impact reader might care a whole lot about the fact that a writer named Eric Roston has just published his excellent book 'The Carbon Age.'"

Sheril Kirshenbaum at The Intersection: "The Carbon Age is an enjoyable read packed with information that's necessary for all of us to digest in a changing wold. Policymakers, media outlets, industry leaders, and general audiences will benefit from reading this book... This summer's 'must read'"

Jennifer Ouellette's Cocktail Party Physics, Part I and Part II: "Anyway, as a special treat, we're featuring a two-part Q&A -- more like a conversation, really -- in which Eric chats with hardcore bibliophile Jen-Luc Piquant about his new book, the writing process, climate change, rising gas prices, and what carbon could possibly have in common with MySpace doyen turned reality TV star Tila Tequila. It's lengthy, but substantive, and well worth the read. Bon appetit!"

Tom Levenson's Inverse Square Blog: Eric Roston Wins!: Judge Someone by Their Enemies, Dept.

Garry Golden's The Energy Roadmap: "The subtitle 'How Life's Core Element Has Becomes Civilization's Greatest Threat' is misleading. This is not a book about a crisis. Is not anti&nash;carbon. Roston is not trying to shock you. He is trying to reach your head, not your heart. Roston does not avoid the seriousness of climate change, but does not fall back on simple strategies that avoid the complexities of carbon science. Roston's voice and perspective on carbon is fresh. He is incredibly balanced in his delivery, and the undertones of how the carbon age story ends are optimistic."

"Since carbon is so instrumental to life, and has always been, it's tempting to say that every age, from the foggy beginning, has been one of carbon... Today's Carbon Age is the Carboniferous Period in reverse—cars, power plants, and cement factories burn long-buried carbon back into the atmosphere, recombining carbon and oxygen into CO2."