Earth: An Intimate History
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.
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Earth: an intimate historyUser Review - Not Available - Book Verdict
As a popular geology writer, British paleontologist Fortey (Trilobite! ) is in the same league as John McPhee, with an ability to make Earth history both poetic and wonderfully interesting. In order ... Read full review
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Africa Alpine Alps ancient Arthur Holmes Atlantic Ocean Author's own collection Avalonia basalt Basin Bay of Naples beneath Big Island Cambrian century cliffs coast colour continental continents crystals dark deep depth earth earthquake edge Eduard Suess elements erosion eruption evidence faults feldspars Flysch folded fossils geological geologists gneiss Gondwana granite Hawai'i Hawaiian heat huge Iapetus imagine kilometres kind Lake land landscape Laurentia lava flows layer Lewisian limestone lithosphere look magma mantle melting metamorphic metres mid-ocean ridges million years ago mineral mountain belts mountain chain move movement nappes natural Newfoundland northwards ocean floor oceanic crust once ophiolites Ordovician original Pacific Pangaea Photo pile plate tectonics Precambrian pressure range rift river road sandstones sea floor sedimentary rocks sediments shales side slabs species squeezed strata supercontinent surface thick tion trees trilobites valley Vesuvius volcanic rocks volcanoes whole