Species are disappearing from the earth at a rate of hundreds, and perhaps thousands, of times greater than every before witnessed. According to many scientists, this rapid destruction will lead to irreversible changes in the earth's ecosystem. The Expendable Future provides a comprehensive and critical evaluation of the politics of biological diversity in the United States and of state and federal policies on endangered species from the early 1960s to the present. Drawing on congressional hearing and debates, previously unpublished public opinion surveys, interviews with state officials and employees of the Department of the Interior, and internal documents from this and other government agencies, Tobin provides an in-depth analysis of the policies on endangered species and the policy relationships among the different units of government involved in implementation. He examines the resources that are available for the protection of endangered species and the way in which those resources are matched to the priorities. Tobin also discusses the processes by which species are classified as endangered, how these species' critical habitats are determined and protected, and the successes, and mostly failures, of current recovery programs.