The Bridge at the Edge of the World - Speth, James Gustave - Yale University Press
Political Science
Social Science

A Caravan Book

The Bridge at the Edge of the World

Capitalism, the Environment, and Crossing from Crisis to Sustainability

  • James Gustave Speth
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Out of Print.

A 2008 Top Seller in Environmental Sciences as compiled by YBP Library Services

Selected as one of the best books of 2008 by the Washington Post in the Nature & The Environment category

Finalist for the 2009 Orion Book Award, given by The Orion Society.

For information on upcoming events, visit the author's website Bridge At the Edge of the World.com.

Click here for an extended question & answer discussion with the author.

Click here for a Q&A with Gus Speth on the NYTimes Economics blog

Click here to listen to an interview with the author on the Yale Press Podcast.

How serious are the threats to our environment? Here is one measure of the problem: if we continue to do exactly what we are doing, with no growth in the human population or the world economy, the world in the latter part of this century will be unfit to live in. Of course human activities are not holding at current levels—they are accelerating, dramatically—and so, too, is the pace of climate disruption, biotic impoverishment, and toxification. In this book Gus Speth, author of Red Sky at Morning and a widely respected environmentalist, begins with the observation that the environmental community has grown in strength and sophistication, but the environment has continued to decline, to the point that we are now at the edge of catastrophe.


Speth contends that this situation is a severe indictment of the economic and political system we call modern capitalism. Our vital task is now to change the operating instructions for today’s destructive world economy before it is too late. The book is about how to do that.

James Gustave Speth, a distinguished leader and founder of environmental institutions over the past four decades, is dean of the School of Forestry and Environmental Studies at Yale University. He was awarded Japan’s Blue Planet Prize for “a lifetime of creative and visionary leadership in the search for science-based solutions to global environmental problems.” He lives in New Haven, CT.