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Origins: The Evolution of Continents, Oceans and Life Hardcover – September 15, 2001
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Top Customer Reviews
The narrative along with the excellent images went a long way in helping clarify the dance that the continents have been doing for the last 4.6 billion years.
I kept an Earth globe with me along with several other paleo-maps I've collected over the years. They all helped in keeping track of what the author was refering to in each chapter.
I'm really glad that he took the time in laying out the early part of the Earth's geologic history and made only a fairly brief mention of mans time on the planet. It could have been even shorter that it was, but for the most part he kept it reasonable.
I am a retired USGS Geologist/Scientific Illustrator, and have read and Illustrated many USGS publications. I only wish I could have been involved in the preparation of this book.
"The book has two sections which are interposed: 1. the text is exceptionally well done, and the glossary is extremely valuable for those not completely famniliar with geology and the formation of continents, etc. 2. the photography is the best that I (the curator) has ever seen in a book of this type. It in itself is worth the price of the volume. Anyone who reads this book will come away enlightened and will enjoy thinking and reviewing in his mind both words and pictures."
The issue of man-made climate change is touched upon, but Redfern's primary goal is to elucidate the inevitable longer-term forces at play. For instance, it is nearly certain that Earth will re-enter a glacial period within the next couple of thousand years -- a tiny time frame by geological standards.
But, what makes this book truly compelling is the photography. The author utilizes dramatic landscape (and ice-scape) photography to tell the story of Earth's history. Origins serves as a non-technical science book AND a beautiful piece of art for the coffee table.
And, no, I have no connection to the author. I'm just very impressed with this book.
President, the La Mancha Company (consulting)
Now I have taken time to reading the main text systematically, and am filled with admiration of the sheer extent of Redfern's knowledge and clarity of understanding. One would need several lifetimes to absorb and savour all the learning in this tome. Bear in mind that the Redfern's original speciality is food and pharmaceutical production - but don't let this put you off - as history has often shown, it is frequently the 'outsider's' who make the decisive contributions.
So one could carry-on gushing......and at some point it would be fair to ask if there are any failings? Yes, there are perhaps a few quibbles in factual interpretation, tectonic-maps that maybe don't quite flow sequentially, an expanded and attractive contents-section that unfortunately doesn't have page numbers or dates lines etc - but all trifling in comparison with the overall magnificence of this book.
I salute Redfern, and if you want one of the world's great books - in the final age of the printed book - apprise yourself of a copy. You won't be disappointed.
(This review pertains to the Cassell & Co 2000 hardback edition.)
Most Recent Customer Reviews
After getting this book at our library, I got it on Amazon for studying. Redfern's own story is incredible. Read morePublished 6 months ago by Sharon Beck Myers
This is a terrific book if you have an interest in Geology.. It connects the dots between theory and real world, with actual pictures of the areas. Good for all intellect levels.Published 13 months ago by Richard Weaver
A coffee table book without equal in its subject. I recall the initial publication of "Origins" fifteen years ago and I'm glad to finally own a copy. Read morePublished 15 months ago by Christopher Clifford