UA Journalism Prof Collecting Year-end Kudos for Book
Alan Weisman's "The World Without Us" continues to attract attention from readers and critics alike.

By Kate Harrison, UA journalism department
Dec. 14, 2007

Alan Weisman, a laureate associate professor in the journalism department at The University of Arizona, has received a slew of year-end honors for his bestselling book “The World Without Us.”

Time Magazine has chosen Weisman’s book, which looks at how the planet would respond if humans suddenly disappeared, its number one nonfiction book of the year.

“What starts as a morbid parlor game,” writes critic Lev Grossman for the magazine issue hitting newsstands Dec. 24, “becomes a mesmerizing and grandly entertaining meditation on how horrifically humanity has managed to perturb our little planet, and with what wonderful blithe resilience said planet will shrug off all our works once we're gone.”

Critic Laura Miller of picked “The World Without Us” as one of Salon’s top five nonfiction reads for 2007.

"To make our list, a book has to keep us up late and be the first thing we reach for when we open our eyes in the morning,” Miller wrote. “These are the books we thought about on the way to work and rushed through our dinner dates to get back to at night, the books we blocked out whole weekends to read and propped up next to our bowls of breakfast cereal."

The National Book Critics Circle blog has made “The World Without Us” a No. 2 Best Selection in its inaugural list. The book, reads the review, is “deserving of the lively conversation it will inspire, rich with spectacular detail.”

The online bookseller ranked “The World Without Us” as No. 4 in its Top 100 books of 2007 by the Amazon Editors. Its Canadian site,, picked Weisman’s book as its number one nonfiction book of the year.

Weisman joined the UA in 2003 and leads the journalism department’s interdisciplinary international journalism program. Each spring semester, he takes a group of UA students to Latin America to report on cultural and political issues in the region. In spring 2008, he will lead a group to Argentina to examine environmental issues.

“The World Without Us” has been on The New York Times bestseller list since late July. It has received praise and reviews from media outlets ranging from the Los Angeles Times to “The Daily Show with Jon Stewart."