Beth Gardiner

Published: 2 April 2020
Paperback, B Format
129x198mm, 304 pages
ISBN: 9781846276477

Other Editions

Trade Paperback

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Published: 4 April 2019
Trade Paperback, Royal PB
153x234mm, 304 pages
ISBN: 9781846276453

Ebook Available

About the author

Image of Beth Gardiner

In her more than twenty years as a journalist, Beth Gardiner's work has been published in the New York Times, the Guardian, National Geographic and the Washington Post, and she is a former long-time Associated Press reporter. She has appeared on the BBC, Sky News, ITV and LBC talk radio. More about the author


‘[Choked reveals] a shocking litany of damaged lives [...] in stark and vivid terms’ Robin McKie



Choked is a timely and potent look at the health threat air pollution poses around the world. The book's focus on life's most basic function -- breathing -- makes dirty air's dangers both tangible and immediate. Gardiner has turned the fight for clean, healthy air into a compelling tale of the progress we've made and the work that still lies ahead’ Paul Billings, senior vice president of the American Lung Association

Choked is an extraordinary history of the air we breathe. Brilliantly reported and beautifully written, Beth Gardiner takes us on a global tour that illuminates what's at stake when the health of people and the planet are not our priority. She sheds myths, wrestles with moral complexity, and reveals the social injustices that make air pollution an issue that both connects us and divides us. Along the way, her candid interviews with public servants, activists, entrepreneurs, scientists, doctors, and on-the-ground citizens build an inspiring blueprint for how to move forward in one of our most elemental battles’ Anna Clark, author

Choked is a deeply reported and powerfully written account of the challenges in understanding the invisible public health crisis of air pollution. Beth Gardiner's book holds insight, lessons and emotions that echo from people and communities around the globe literally sick of "holding their breath". Gardiner takes us on an eye-opening journey to the dirty air around us and the solutions that give us hope that clear air is possible’ Lisa Palmer, author

Choked literally breathes life into the struggle for clean air in the U.S. and across the world. Beth Gardiner is a masterful storyteller who makes the science understandable and introduces us to the scientists and policy makers who uncovered the dangers of air pollution and drove solutions that have saved millions of lives. This book doesn't just make air pollution personal, it brings hope to all of us who remain in the fight for cleaner air and a stable climateGina McCarthy, former director of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency

A brilliantly crafted, readable anatomy of an insidious but powerful threat-air pollution. Choked exposes the tradeoffs and abuses that have left us breathing unhealthy air and also offers moving portraits of the clean air champions who are fighting back.’ Kate Winkler Dawson, author

‘At a time when we urgently need environmental policies that safeguard the health and well-being of all, Choked illuminates the political and technological battles and victories that have determined what is in the air we breathe. Written with the profound wonder that defines the most engaging scientific narratives and with the deep concern that comes from being a parent, this book is a personal journey to the heart of one of our planet's most pressing problems.’ Elizabeth Rush, author

‘Beth Gardiner's powerful account of what the air we breathe is doing to our bodies couldn't be more timely. Choked tells a gripping, complex tale full of memorable characters - starring one of the deadliest villains of all time, air pollution. It illuminates some disturbing realities, but it also gives us hope by showing us what we can do to clean our air. This is an urgent, essential readArnold Schwarzenegger

‘Gardiner is a very clear writer... render[ing] the complicated science and environmental policy into readable and engaging text... An eye-opening read’

‘Gardiner is nuanced but sharp with in her judgements...You couldn't ask for a better guide for non-specialists and concerned citizens... Gardiner remains guardedly optimistic’ Caspar Henderson

‘Some seven million people will die prematurely this year owing to the effects of air pollution. Beth Gardiner travels to some of the smoggiest places on earth to explore this grim statistic and explain what can be done to alter it. Choked is a compelling book about a critical subjectElizabeth Kolbert, Pulitzer Prize-winning author of

‘The stories Beth Gardiner tells in Choked paint a compelling picture of a critical issue. Air pollution blights too many lives. Choked weaves together science, politics and economics to show us the progress we've made toward healthier air and the work that still lies ahead’ Christine Todd Whitman, former director of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency

‘This important book tells so many touching stories from bold voices from all over the world, each making it clear that we can no longer accept air pollution and the devastation it causes, especially when the solutions are so close at hand. Clean air is a human right and every breath matters’ Christiana Figueres, former United Nations climate chief

‘Timely, eloquent and disturbing’

‘What are we doing to our lungs by burning fossil fuels? That's the profound question that this engaging book answers, travelling the world from Los Angeles to London, Beijing to Berlin. Air pollution is an insidious and often invisible threat, which makes it easy to overlook. But you will learn just how dangerous dirty air really is -- and what we can do to clean it up -- in this illuminating taleDavid Biello, TED Talks science curator and author of

‘With Choked, Gardiner renders the oft-invisible assault of air pollution on our lungs and cities not just visible, but gripping. Whether describing the people she meets in her search to understand the problem and its solutions, or discussing the science, politics and social issues surrounding dirty air, Gardiner is a deft reporter and a vivid story-teller. Choked should be required reading for anyone breathing todayCarla Power, author of Pulitzer Prize finalist

‘With gripping stories and a keen understanding of science, Gardiner traces air pollution's insidious impact on our bodies. Choked is chock full of frightening tales from places such as Krakow, London, Delhi and California's San Joaquin Valley. Yet you'll come away breathing a little easier, knowing that with the right choices we have the tools to make the world a healthier place for our children and grandchildren’ Randi Hutter Epstein, author

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