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Rising from the Plainsby John Mcphee
Synopses & Reviews
Rising from the Plains is John McPhees third book on geology and geologists. Following Basin and Range and In Suspect Terrain, it continues to present a cross section of North America along the fortieth parallela series gathering under the overall title Annals of the Former World.
John McPhee is the author of more than 25 books, including Annals of the Former World, for which he received the Pulitzer Prize in Nonfiction in 1999. He has been a staff writer at The New Yorker since 1965 and lives in Princeton, New Jersey. McPhee's Encounters with the Archdruid and The Curve of Binding Energy were both nominated for National Book Awards in the category of science.
If you like to read about geology, John McPhee's Rising for Plains is an indispensable text on the subject. If, on the other hand, you are not much engaged by the spatial complexities of the science, you could miss a richness if human history that has its place among the strata described. Sometimes it is said of geologists that they reflect in their professional styles the sort of country in which they grew up. Nowhere could that be more true than in the life of a geologist born in the center of Wyoming and raised on an isolated ranch. This is the story of that ranch, soon after the turn of the century, and of the geologist who grew up there, at home with the composition of the high country in the way that someone growing up in a coastal harbor would be at home with the vagaries of the sea.
Rising from the Plains is McPhee's third book on geology and geologists. Following Basin and Range and In Suspect Terrain, it continues to present a cross section of North America along the fortieth parallela series gathering under the overall title Annals of the Former World.
“McPhee rides shotgun across Wyoming in a four-wheel-drive Bronco while the geologist David Love steers, lectures, and reminisces . . . This instructive account of the geologic West and the frontier West is a delight.”Evan S. Connell, The New York Times Book Review
"Mr. McPhee has created a styleblending detailed reporting with a novelistic sense of narrativeand a standard that have influenced a whole generation of journalists."Timothy Bay, The Baltimore Sun
"McPhee offers a striking picture of the Rawlins Uplift, the stratified protrusion that rises from the Plains providing a rare chance to 'see' and sense 260 million years of layering, from the Archean eon to the Miocene . . . Much of the book is given over to descriptions of the Rocky ranges, their form and formation, and to comparisons with other geologically interesting areas. In a style that is uniquely McPhee, readers get to know the landscapes as they get to know those who study them: intimately. This makes it a very personal book."Peter I. Rose, The Christian Science Monitor (Eastern edition)
"Although it stands well on its own, this book can be viewed as a continuation of McPhee's Basin and Range and In Suspect Terrain. As in those earlier works, the central theme of this book is the geology of an area near Interstate 80, this time the Rocky Mountains and adjacent terrain in Wyoming. McPhee skillfully weaves together the personal history of Rocky Mountain geologist David Love and his family with the geological history of the region, chronicling both the story of pioneering homesteaders and that of ancient seas, volcanoes, and episodes of mountain building. He also details the search for resources and the environmental effect of their discovery, as well as the inner workings of geology."Joseph Hannibal, Library Journal
Bestselling author McPhee takes us on another exciting geological excursion with this engaging account of life--past and present--in the high plains of Wyoming.
Rising from the Plains is John McPhees third book on geology and geologists. Following Basin and Range and In Suspect Terrain, it continues to present a cross section of North America along the fortieth parallel—a series gathering under the overall title Annals of the Former World.
About the Author
John McPhee was born in Princeton, New Jersey, and was educated at Princeton University and Cambridge University. His writing career began at Time magazine and led to his long association with The New Yorker, where he has been a staff writer since 1965. The same year he published his first book, A Sense of Where You Are, with FSG, and soon followed with The Headmaster (1966), Oranges (1967), The Pine Barrens (1968), A Roomful of Hovings and Other Profiles (collection, 1969), The Crofter and the Laird (1969), Levels of the Game (1970), Encounters with the Archdruid (1972), The Deltoid Pumpkin Seed (1973), The Curve of Binding Energy (1974), Pieces of the Frame (collection, 1975), and The Survival of the Bark Canoe (1975). Both Encounters with the Archdruid and The Curve of Binding Energy were nominated for National Book Awards in the category of science.
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