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Annals of the Former World (1998)

Tekijä: John McPhee

Muut tekijät: Katso muut tekijät -osio.

Sarjat: Annals of the Former World (5-volume set)

JäseniäKirja-arvostelujaSuosituimmuussijaKeskimääräinen arvioMaininnat
1,6232510,957 (4.23)86
"Twenty years ago, when John McPhee began his journeys back and forth across the United States, he planned to describe a cross-section of North America at about the fortieth parallel and, in the process, come to an understanding not only of the science but of the style of the geologists he traveled with." "Like the terrain it covers, Annals of the Former World tells a many-layered tale, and the reader may choose one of many paths through it, guided by twenty-five new maps and the "Narrative Table of Contents" (an essay outlining the history and structure of the project). Read sequentially, the book is an organic succession of set pieces, flashbacks, biographical sketches, and histories of the human and lithic kind; approached systematically, it can be a North American geology primer, an exploration of plate tectonics, or a study of geologic time and the development of the time scale."--Jacket.… (lisätietoja)
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Näyttää 1-5 (yhteensä 25) (seuraava | näytä kaikki)
Geology is one of those parts of my life I've always had curiosity about, but never took the time to explore. I'm both an animist and love backpacking off trail in wilderness areas. These two arenas have had me at least meditating on geology, if not formally studying the subject.

For awhile now I've been looking for a geological history of New England. Last year a friend recommend a book—the only Pulitzer-Prize-winning book on geology—this text.

It is long! It took me about a year to get through. It is a compilation of five parts, written across twenty years of research, and published together in 1998. The book is mostly about the continental United States. Here's the basic outline:

Book 1: Basin and Range—Nevada and Utah, with geologist Clarence King

Book 2: In Suspect Terrain—Appalachians, with geologist Anita Harris

Book 3: Rising from the Plains—Wyoming, with geologist David Love

Book 4: Assembling California—California, with geologist Eldridge Moores

Book 5: Crossing the Craton—Midwest (essay-length)

To help the narrative along, in each book McPhee accompanies an accomplished geologist, both telling their life story, and getting into detail about the landscapes the love.

One unfortunate artifact in the book is that McPhee began writing when plate tectonics was a relatively new and somewhat controversial theory (when nowadays it is taken for granted). This creates a few unnecessary diversions.

At times, the book becomes quite technical. I can't say that I understood everything that McPhee shared about geology. That said, the reading was still enjoyable the whole way through, and I'd rather have a book that is over my head and enjoyable than one that is dumbed down. If anything, it inspires me to dig in more deeply to geology!

If you're looking for a thorough introduction to the geology of the United States, you've found it! ( )
  willszal | Mar 12, 2024 |
McPhee Travels Interstate 80 from the east to the west coast accompanied by a succession of experts in the geology of the regions along the way. He writes in a chatty and engaging style for a book about geology. It reads like a travelogue of an intelligent fellow and good writer curious to find out what he can about the landmass of the United States without too much technicality.

The author leavens the science with just the right amount of associated information: backgrounds and anecdotes about the various geologists (all are interesting), histories of geological discoveries, and human history as related to local geological features.

Jargon is avoided. The author names dozens of minerals (out of about 4,000 yet discovered on earth) he comes across but details only the few most important. He takes you on many side trips off the interstate and to other places in the world where the formations and processes there shed light on what we find here.

The book seems organized as well as possible for portraying such a messy science: the earth's crust has been churned for four billion years, and in different ways, times and depths for each region. What amazes is that so much has been discovered and understood.

This is not a book for anyone without some interest in geology. Conversely, I believe most geologists would read it with interest and learn something.

The few simple maps and diagrams are useful, and more would have been welcome. Scales of mileage would have been helpful.

It took a while to read this, yet I was sorry that it had to end.


( )
  KENNERLYDAN | Jul 11, 2021 |
Have carted this tome through several moves across the country. Finally cracked it open, and it didn't disappoint.

A geological transect of the US, following I-80 roughly east to west. McPhee does a fantastic job imparting just home much time is involved, our conception of any map or the present is that it is just a moment that probably won't be recorded in the rocks.

Hopefully my I-80 days are behind me, would love a more in depth look up here in Cascadia. ( )
  kcshankd | Mar 15, 2021 |
This book was evidently written for trained geologists, since many geological terms are used throughout the book without any explanations. The author does not stick to topic and wanders among experiences, history, and geology. The book has some interesting and useful information buried in a lengthy and largely unintelligible text. This book would appeal to a narrow set of people who are experts in geology. ( )
  GlennBell | Feb 23, 2021 |
Nonfiction. The geologic history of the United States as discovered by studying its roadcuts. This book is large and heavy enough to be a weapon. It changes how you look at everyday surroundings. How you pass through the world. And your understanding of place, time, and impact. That's just for starters. ( )
  sussura | Sep 29, 2018 |
Näyttää 1-5 (yhteensä 25) (seuraava | näytä kaikki)
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» Lisää muita tekijöitä

Tekijän nimiRooliTekijän tyyppiKoskeeko teosta?Tila
John McPheeensisijainen tekijäkaikki painoksetlaskettu
Funk, TomGeologic time scalemuu tekijäeräät painoksetvahvistettu
Kawabata, JulieIndexmuu tekijäeräät painoksetvahvistettu
Krupat, CynthiaSuunnittelijamuu tekijäeräät painoksetvahvistettu

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"Twenty years ago, when John McPhee began his journeys back and forth across the United States, he planned to describe a cross-section of North America at about the fortieth parallel and, in the process, come to an understanding not only of the science but of the style of the geologists he traveled with." "Like the terrain it covers, Annals of the Former World tells a many-layered tale, and the reader may choose one of many paths through it, guided by twenty-five new maps and the "Narrative Table of Contents" (an essay outlining the history and structure of the project). Read sequentially, the book is an organic succession of set pieces, flashbacks, biographical sketches, and histories of the human and lithic kind; approached systematically, it can be a North American geology primer, an exploration of plate tectonics, or a study of geologic time and the development of the time scale."--Jacket.

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