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About the Book

An Inconvenient Truth: The Planetary Emergency of Global Warming and What We Can Do about It (2006) is a book that makes its point through images and graphs as well as text. Its layout reflects a multimedia lecture that its author, Al Gore, has been presenting around the world. In terms of purpose and function, An Inconvenient Truth is:

An argument about human responsibility in climate change that concludes with a call for action.

If you are having trouble distinguishing the parts of the argument, click here to get a synopsis of the book.

The book also includes a list of online resources for practical ways each of us can help solve the climate crisis.

A piece of a larger text.

The book version of An Inconvenient Truth was published concurrently to the release of the documentary film of the same name with the intention of echoing and deepening its message. Many issues that are just touched upon in the documentary are discussed in detail in the book, while the film provides the book with a simple narrative arc. To learn more about the documentary film version of An Inconvenient Truth, click here.

An example of environmental non-fiction.

To be precise, An Inconvenient Truth is a work of environmental non-fiction advocacy inspired by the work of other environmental authors. For example, in the introduction to An Inconvenient Truth Al Gore mentions the influence Rachel Carson's Silent Spring (1962) on his own understanding of how humans can harm nature. Other classic examples of environmental advocacy are Fairfield Osborn's Our Plundered Planet (1948), Aldo Leopold's A Sand County Almanac (1949), Barry Commoner's The Closing Circle: Nature, Man, and Technology (1971), and Ernest Callenbach's Ecotopia: The Notebooks and Reports of William Weston (this last book is work of fiction).

An autobiography.

The issues presented in An Inconvenient Truth have been part of the author's life as much as his wife and children. It is to be expected, then, that the book would cover the events in Al Gore's life that led him to tour the world presenting his arguments and conclusions about human responsibility in climate change. To learn more about the author of An Inconvenient Truth, click here.

An Inconvenient Truth has been in the New York Times Bestseller List for paperback non-fiction since June 11, 2006, and became its #1 paperback non-fiction bestseller on July 2, 2006.

A new version of the book, entitled An Inconvenient Truth: The Crisis of Global Warming (2007), rephrases the language of the original book so that it is appropriate for adolescents.


"Al Gore Revisits Global Warming, With Passionate Warnings and Pictures" by Michiko Kakutani in The New York Times at 20Reviews (free registration required).

Citing the Book

Click here to see how to document the book in Modern Language Association (MLA) style and in American Psychological Association (APA) style.