To geologists, rocks are beautiful, roadcuts are windowpanes, and the earth is alive-a work in progress. The cataclysmic movement that gives birth to mountains and oceans is ongoing and can still be seen at certain places on our planet. One of these is the Basin and Range region centered in Nevada and Utah. In this first book of a Pulitzer Prize-winning collection, the author crosses the spectacular Basin and Range with geology professor Kenneth Deffeyes in tow. McPhee draws on Deffeyes' expertise to dazzle you with the vast perspective of geologic time and the fascinating history of vanished landscapes. The effect is guaranteed to expand your mind. McPhee's enthusiasm is infectious, as he provides one of the best introductions to plate tectonics and the New Geology. His elegant style is more pleasing than ever with narrator Nelson Runger's smooth, enthusiastic delivery. Runger mines the book's rich veins of poetic prose and subtle humor-and the result is pure gold.
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by John McPhee
by John Dickinson
by Bruce Catton
by Rolf Nelson
"The author, a gifted teacher and geologist, provides a course in plate tectonics, using many examples from land cuts on U. S. Interstate 80 in the Basin and Range region of Nevada and Utah. To explain such layering as caused by the movement of the Earth's crust, thousands of words must suffice without diagrams. Nelson Runger reads slowly, as one must for scientific material, but without losing the vital tempo or mispronouncing the plethora of geological terms. Only he would say "granite" with such enthusiasm. Curious readers who like to keep up in science will enjoy an overview of geologic time that is accurate, chatty, and humorous. J.A.H. (c) AudioFile 2002, Portland, Maine"
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