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'A dazzling achievement. Richard Fortey is without peer among science writers. ' Bill Bryson'The Earth is a true delight: full of awe-inspiring details...it blends travel, history, reportage and science to creat an unforgettable picture of our ancient earth. ' Sunday TimesThe face of the Earth, criss-crossed by chains of mountains like the scars of old wounds has changed constantly over billions of years, and the testament of the remote past is all around us. In this book, Richard Fortey teaches us how to read its character, laying out the dominions of the world before us. He shows how everything -- human culture, natural history, even the shape of cities -- roots back to a deeper geological truth. Far from being the driest of sciences, he proves that geology informs all our lives in the most intimate way. Nothing in this book seems to be at rest. The surface of the Earth dilates and collapses; seas and mountains rise and fall; continents move. We climb the Alps, wallow in Icelandic hot springs, dive down to the ocean floor; we explore the barren rocks of Newfoundland, walk through the lush ecosystems of Hawaii, cross the salt flats of Oman and saunter along the San Andreas Fault. And Fortey is the ideal guide, his descriptions of natural beauty as memorable as the best travel-writers, his prose as gripping as the best novelist, his crystal-clear scientific explanations fascinating and often surprising.
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From the acclaimed author of Life and Trilobite!, a fascinating geological exploration of the earth’s distant history as revealed by its natural wonders.
The face of the earth, crisscrossed by chains of mountains like the scars of old wounds, has changed and changed again over billions of years, and the testament of the remote past is all around us. In this book Richard Fortey teaches us how to read its character, laying out the dominions of the world before us. He shows how human culture and natural history–even the shape of cities–are rooted in this deep geological past.
In search of this past, Fortey takes us through the Alps, into Icelandic hot springs, down to the ocean floor, over the barren rocks of Newfoundland, into the lush ecosystems of Hawai’i, across the salt flats of Oman, and along the San Andreas Fault. On the slopes of Vesuvius, he tracks the history of the region down through the centuries?to volcanic eruptions seen by fifteenth-century Italians, the Romans, and, from striking geological evidence, even Neolithic man. As story adds to story, the recent past connects with forgotten ages long ago, then much longer ago, as he describes the movement of plates and the development of ancient continents and seas. Nothing in this book is at rest. The surface of the earth dilates and collapses; seas and mountains rise and fall; continents move.
Fortey again proves himself the ideal guide, with his superb descriptions of natural beauty, his gripping narratives, and his crystal-clear, always fascinating scientific explanations.
Here is a book to change the way we see the world.
Richard Fortey is a senior paleontologist at the Natural History Museum in London. His previous books include the critically acclaimed LIFE: AN UNAUTHORISED BIOGRAPHY, TRILOBITE! and the prize-winning THE HIDDEN LANDSCAPE. He lives in London.
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Book Description HarperCollins Publishers Ltd, 2004. Condition: New. book. Seller Inventory # M0002570114