Sea of Cortez: A Leisurely Journal of Travel and Research

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Penguin, Jul 8, 2009 - Travel - 656 pages
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The collaboration of two friends—one a novelist, one a marine biologist—produced a volume in which fascinating popular science is woven into a narrative of man’s dreams, his ideals, and his accomplishments through the centuries. Sea of Cortez is one of those rare books that are all things to all readers. Actually the record of a brief collecting expedition in the lonely Gulf of California, it will be science to the scientist, philosophy to the philosopher, and to the average man an adventure in living and thinking.

The teeming and wildly competitive world of the sand flats is seen in terms of history, politics, ethics, and sociology; a starfish is important, not only because it is a new variety, but because it is essential to the delicate balance of the whole region in which it is found. Steinbeck and Ricketts are the opposite of “pure” scientists: it is not only their work that fascinates them, but the complicated and enormously exciting implications of that work.

Sea of Cortez is a book to be read and remembered on two levels. It is a journey through a remote and beautiful corner of the world, a diary filled with the daily excitements and triumphs of skillful and energetic men. It is also an invitation to see the world anew from a fresh vantage point and perhaps with a broader and more understanding spirit.

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SEA OF CORTEZ: A Leisurely Journal Of Travel And Research

User Review  - Jane Doe - Kirkus

Steinbeck might be said to have rescued biology from the laboratory and put it on the layman's reading shelf. This is an unexpectedly readable record of a scientific research trip, taken by the co ... Read full review

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About the author (2009)

No writer is more quintessentially American than John Steinbeck. Born in 1902 in Salinas, California, Steinbeck attended Stanford University before working at a series of mostly blue-collar jobs and embarking on his literary career. Profoundly committed to social progress, he used his writing to raise issues of labor exploitation and the plight of the common man, penning some of the greatest American novels of the twentieth century and winning such prestigious awards as the Pulitzer Prize and the National Book Award. He received the Nobel Prize in 1962, "for his realistic and imaginative writings, combining as they do sympathetic humour and keen social perception." Today, more than thirty years after his death, he remains one of America's greatest writers and cultural figures.

Edward F. Ricketts co-authored several books, among them "Between Pacific Tides" (1939), now in its fifth, revised edition and still regarded as the definitive ecological handbook on the California littoral. Katharine A. Rodger is editor of "Renaissance Man of Cannery Row: The Life and Letters of Edward F. Ricketts" (2002). Susan F. Beegel, editor of "The Hemingway Review", coedited "Steinbeck and the Environment "(1997).

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