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McPhee's great virtue as a journalist covering the sciences--and any other of the countless subjects he has taken on, for that matter--is his ability to distill and explain complex matters: here, for example, the processes of mineral deposition or of plate tectonics. He does so by allowing geologists to speak for themselves and an entertaining lot they are, those sometimes odd men and women who puzzle out the landscape for clues to its most ancient past. Annals of the Former World is a magisterial work of popular science for which geologists--and devotees of good writing--will be grateful. --Gregory McNamee
John McPhee is an excellent writer and anyone who delights in interesting nonfiction will likely be pleased with the book. Read morePublished 11 days ago by J. Williams
Up to now, I'd known McPhee's work only in the New Yorker magazine. This now older volume pulls together several year's worth of research and travels with geologists. Read morePublished 21 days ago by WhoKnew
Excellent review of North American geology following I-80. Good stories of the geologists. Especially liked "Rising from the Plains" story of Wyoming.Published 24 days ago by Zenster
I'm enjoying Phee's travels through geology. Annual of the Former World was recommended by a friend who has also developed an interest in geology. I'm really enjoying it. Read morePublished 1 month ago by sjedis
I came back to this extraordinary work after a trip to California raised questions about geology. I remembered something about errant terranes from the first time I read... Read morePublished 1 month ago by Curmudgeon in the Kitchen
This is an awesome, exceptional book about the earth's past and about the people who have figured it out. Read morePublished 1 month ago by Richard Furst
The first couple chapters are florid language, overwrought. I very nearly quit it with an attitude. But I don't recall quitting a geology topical. Read morePublished 2 months ago by robert johnston