Billions & Billions: Thoughts on Life and Death at the Brink of the Millennium

In the final book of his astonishing career, Carl Sagan brilliantly examines the burning questions of our lives, our world, and the universe around us. These luminous, entertaining essays travel both the vastness of the cosmos and the intimacy of the human mind, posing such fascinating questions as how did the universe originate and how will it end, and how can we meld science and compassion to meet the challenges of the coming century? Here, too, is a rare, private glimpse of Sagan's thoughts about love, death, and God as he struggled with fatal disease. Ever forward-looking and vibrant with the sparkle of his unquenchable curiosity, Billions & Billions is a testament to one of the great scientific minds of our day.

In this book, his last, Carl Sagan shows once again his extraordinary ability to interpret the mysteries of life and the majesty of the universe for the general reader. Brilliant, eloquent, and imbued with Sagan's uniquely childlike sense of awe, this entertaining collection of essays captures the authors spirit at its best.

In Billions and Billions Sagan applies what we know about science, mathematics, and space to everyday life, as well as to the exploration of many essential questions concerning the environment and our future. Ranging far and wide in subject matter, he takes his readers on a soaring journey, from the invention of chess to the possibility of life on Mars, from Monday Night Football to the relationship between the United States and Russia, from global warming to the abortion debate. And, on a more intimate note, we are given a rare glimpse of the author himself as he movingly describes his valiant fight for his life, his love of his family, and his personal beliefs about death and God.

Throughout these essays, Sagan provides clarity and understanding for an audience eager to make sense of the world around it as it prepares for the challenges of the coming millennium, and in the process he illuminates his strongly held belief that we have the ability to change the world and our lives for the better.

Sagan has said, We make our world significant by the courage of our questions and by the depth of our answers. With this book, as in his magnificent career, he makes this world significant indeed.


This book is a collection of essays Sagan wrote covering diverse topics like global warming, the population explosion, extraterrestrial life, morality, and the abortion debate. The last chapter is an account of his struggle with myelodysplasia, the disease which finally took his life in December 1996. Sagan's wife, Ann Druyan, wrote the epilogue of the book after his death. - Wikipedia


Other Books By Carl Sagan