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New Books and Maps » John McPhee

Basin and Range

By: McPhee, John
Price: $15.00

The first of John McPhee?’s works in his series on geology and geologists,Basin and Range is a book of journeys through ancient terrains, always in juxtaposition with travels in the modern world—a history of vanished landscapes, enhanced by the histories of people who bring them to light. The title refers to the physiographic province of the United States that reaches from eastern Utah to eastern California, a silent world of austere beauty, of hundreds of discrete high mountain ranges that are green with junipers and often white with snow. The terrain becomes the setting for a lyrical evocation of the science of geology, with important digressions into the plate-tectonics revolution and the history of the geologic time scale.

“In Basin and Range, McPhee? is not so much a visiting amateur as a rhapsodist of “deep time” . . . The result is a fascinating book.” – Paul Zweig, The New York Times Book Review

“One result of the trip west is an introduction to plate tectonics--probably the most readable summary extant. Geologists will find it sound, others will find it understandable and illuminating.” -- Geotimes