From Publishers Weekly
Readers may be confused by the title of this book by paleontologist Dingus (The Mistaken Extinction
), which doesn't do justice to his story: an occasionally lyrical and meditative history of Montana's Badlands, a desolate region that he has clearly come to love during his paleontological expeditions. The rugged Badlands of east-central Montana stretch for more than 100 miles along the south bank of the Missouri River. The area hasn't always been a giant's playground of buttes and coulees and inhospitable ravines. Seventy million years ago T. rex
chased its prey through a luxuriant floodplain that covered the area. The first skeletal T. rex
remains were discovered here, and the most complete specimen before the $7 million Sue was found on a local ranch by an amateur bone hunter in the 1960s. Meriwether Clark became the first fossil hunter of the American West when he picked up a dinosaur bone a little farther upriver on the Corps of Discovery's journey to the Pacific. The residents of the Badlands town of Jordan have seen their share of excitement more recently: in 1996 right-wing extremists called the Freemen engaged the FBI in a standoff that attracted national media attention. Given its wide range, this book should attract readers of history and lovers of the American West in addition to dinosaur junkies. 15 b&w photos.
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
“Dingus brilliantly shows that an isolated, rural town surrounded by a lonely piece of America can yield as deep and evocative a history as any terrain on earth. Hell Creek... is heavenly reading!”
- Michael Novacek, Senior Vice President and Provost of Science, American Museum of Natural History
"Lowell Dingus tells the saga of the discovery of the first specimen ever found of Tyrannosaurus rex, probably the world's most famous fossil. But he brings a whole lot more to the story, as no other place captures the essence of the history of the American West better than Hell Creek, Montana. A great read about a fantastic piece of American real estate!"
- Dr. Niles Eldredge, Curator of Paleontology, American Museum of Natural History
"There are lots of dinosaur books, yet few of these place the great discoveries in a historical context. Here Lowell Dingus tells us the story of the events that led to some of the great dinosaur discoveries of all time. Interwoven with these stories is a compelling, introspective personal narrative of how happenings in this remote part of Montana have and continue to be a big part of the American scene."
--Dr. Mark A. Norell, Chairman and Curator, Department of Paleontology, American Museum of Natural History