The Delaware Water Gap, where the Delaware River cuts through the Appalachian Mountains, is a bucolic and peaceful landscape perhaps best known as the setting of Edward Hicks's famous painting, The Peaceable Kingdom
. However, the calm landscape conceals the tortuous geological history of this region and the equally complex debates concerning the geological past of the eastern United States.
In Basin and Range, McPhee traveled across the United States with a strong proponent of plate tectonics. In this volume, he travels over some of the same terrain with Anita G. Harris, a geologist who questions the ability of plate tectonics to completely explain the geology of this part of the world. As always, McPhee conveys the brilliant enthusiasms of those he profiles and the engaging complexity of the disciplines within which they work.
This is the second of four books on North American geology by McPhee, collectively entitled Annals of the Former World. The other volumes are Basin and Range, Rising from the Plains, and Assembling California.
“This is a book you cannot put down...It provides a great deal of information about the way many geologists think about science...and about the necessity for continual questioning and revising of new and old ideas. This is the best way science can remain healthy and continue to grow.”—Robert D. Hatcher, Jr., Natural History
“John McPhee does what no other writer has done ... He makes the earth move.” --R. Z. Sheppard, Time