adbl_ms_membershipImage_includedwith_altText_B076FLV3HT
adbl_ms_membershipImage_includedwith_altText_B076FLV3HT

1 audiobook of your choice.
Stream or download thousands of included titles.
$14.95 a month after 30 day trial. Cancel anytime.
Buy for $24.95

Buy for $24.95

Pay using card ending in
By confirming your purchase, you agree to Audible's Conditions of Use and Amazon's Privacy Notice. Taxes where applicable.

Publisher's Summary

Dirt, soil, call it what you want, it's everywhere we go. It is the root of our existence, supporting our feet, our farms, our cities. This fascinating yet disquieting book finds, however, that we are running out of dirt, and it's no laughing matter. An engaging natural and cultural history of soil that sweeps from ancient civilizations to modern times, Dirt: The Erosion of Civilizations explores the compelling idea that we are, and have long been, using up Earth's soil. Once bare of protective vegetation and exposed to wind and rain, cultivated soils erode bit by bit, slowly enough to be ignored in a single lifetime but fast enough over centuries to limit the lifespan of civilizations. 

A rich mix of history, archaeology and geology, Dirt traces the role of soil use and abuse in the history of Mesopotamia, Ancient Greece, the Roman Empire, China, European colonialism, Central America, and the American push westward. We see how soil has shaped us and we have shaped soil?as society after society has risen, prospered, and plowed through a natural endowment of fertile dirt. David R. Montgomery sees in the recent rise of organic and no-till farming the hope for a new agricultural revolution that might help us avoid the fate of previous civilizations.

©2012 David R. Montgomery (P)2018 Echo Point Books & Media, LLC

What listeners say about Dirt

Average Customer Ratings
Overall
  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    147
  • 4 Stars
    27
  • 3 Stars
    4
  • 2 Stars
    0
  • 1 Stars
    2
Performance
  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    107
  • 4 Stars
    29
  • 3 Stars
    7
  • 2 Stars
    2
  • 1 Stars
    2
Story
  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    121
  • 4 Stars
    23
  • 3 Stars
    3
  • 2 Stars
    0
  • 1 Stars
    1

Reviews - Please select the tabs below to change the source of reviews.

Sort by:
Filter by:
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Highly recommended if you care about your food

As a farmer soil is my bread and butter, it is the source of life all around us. This book is a fascinating study of how soil and civilizations are tied and what lessons we need to learn from history before we become history.

I will say there are a couple things in the book that are off such as “no-till” farming mean at least 30% of the residue remains. No-till means NO tillage period, it is challenging to do initially but it is vital to maintain soil structure created by the plants and microorganisms. We have Ben 100% no-till for 20 years and will never go back for anything.

3 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Will forever change the way I farm.

Here is not only a history of civilizations’ soils, but also a manual for how to feed the earth’s present and future. Just the right blend of science, history, humor, and practical down-to-earth (as it were) advice for how to garden on your farm/garden/urban flower pot in a way that respects the tiny sliver of usable dirt that supports all our lives and dreams.

The narration is measured, articulate, and well paced to absorbing concepts which might be new and sometimes confusing to non-scientists.

2 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • J
  • 01-06-22

A retelling of history from the viewpoint of soil

This was a refreshing review of the history of many cultures and the common causes of soil loss with a few exceptions. It contains many lessons for farmers or gardeners.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

spectacular

simply fascinating 👌
never ever thought of this. wow. my whole perspective on history changed.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

Essential info, needed condensing

"Dirt" is essential information for anyone interested in a sustainable civilization on (literally) the Earth. Without understanding the earth beneath our feet we risk our own extinction. However, the author does have a style wherein he says something, then says it again, and then summarizes again. Kept wanting to edit and tighten the text; on the other hand, makes for good background while engaged in physical work with only occasional use of the jump back button.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

A must read history of agriculture

This book should be in every history class around the world. This book is so much more than just a book about dirt. It is a book about how poorly regulated civilizations destroy themselves.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Must read!

Absolutely amazing narrative of soil and it's intricate link to human civilization throughout history up to the present.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Great book for anyone wanting to learn about soil

Love this book! This book goes into fascinating detail of soils importance to societies.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

A must read to understand the life cycle of civilizations and how to preserve our society

Might be a bit long, and when the tenth civilization dies you sort of know the mechanisms already. Thank god he had found some good but very harsh examples of the opposite.

That said. Everything you learnt in school about the death of the Roman Empire, the Greeks and even today’s USA is not about what you have been taught.

It’s a must read if you think the current climate crisis is a problem. It’s actually much worse and history keeps repeating. With or without global warming.

Read it, I got a very new perspective on these things.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Excellent book!

I highly recommend this book to anyone interested in a sustainable regenerative way of life.

Sort by:
Filter by:
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for marion
  • marion
  • 07-31-20

Educational

Educational but not enthralling, worth a listen.
It backs up other books on this subject rather than hitting new ground

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for hogblower
  • hogblower
  • 06-20-20

A book everyone needs to read

An amazing insight into what is actually important, this knowledge should be taught in schools and should be the basis for the environmental movement moving forward

Sort by:
Filter by:
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Kindle Customer
  • Kindle Customer
  • 03-11-21

Amazing and eye opening!

detailed how human activities destroyed soil in ancient times - got to change the direction if we don't want the same to happen nowadays. definitely recommend!!!

"a nation which destroys it's soil destroys itself"

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Lea Hullett
  • Lea Hullett
  • 05-09-20

Seriously informative

I bought it to learn about soil and am glad I listened to the whole book. It took me through many countries and the devestating effects civilization has had on soil. We must take heed and change farming practices and practice restorative methods or face the consequenses.