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Dinosaurs in the Attic: An Excursion into the American Museum of Natural History Paperback – November 15, 1993
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From Library Journal
Copyright 1986 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
“A rare treat...utterly wonderful to museum buffs.” ―Publishers Weekly
“Conveys the feeling of excitement and unflagging curiosity of those working behind the scenes to add to mankind's knowledge of the natural world.” ―Lorin Nevling, Jr., Director Emeritus, Field Museum of Natural History, Chicago
“Dinosaurs in the Attic is not just chronicle, or even history-it is literature, and a damn good read!” ―Charles R. Crumly, Museum of Comparative Zoology, Harvard University
“The raucous and heroic history of one of America's best-loved museums...a beguiling book.” ―Chicago Tribune
“Preston writes...with breezy wit and insight.” ―Boston Globe
“A delightful book filled with fascinating stories, anecdotes, and personalities.” ―Library Journal
Top Customer Reviews
I came to this book by way of mystery writers (Preston and Child--Relic and Fairchild---The Bone Vault). So thanks guys for recommending this nonfiction read! Almost as quickly read as my mysteries.
The need for so many people to collect items, animals and even humans (would someone please stomp on Admiral Peary's grave for a while)! Geez. You wouldn't think people would be so obtuse as to not realize that living, breathing human beings do not belong in museums as specimens of a tribe or culture we do not know. But obviously the wealthy who often did the collecting, or those 'explorers' who put fame and glory above compassion had a problem with understanding basic human rights. And yes, if tribes ask for their ancestors back, the bones should be returned and buried. How would we all feel if someone went and dug up our grandparents and put their skeletons on display without concern for our need to respect them? You don't see museum guys going to dig up white American or English cemetary plots, do you?
Okay, off the soapbox. A fun read, well-written, well-researched. Preston went on to write several books using the museums as a somewhat creepy place, and frankly after reading this and other books, I don't think I'd want to be locked in the American Museum of Natural History. Pretty sure I'd freak out...too much past with too many ghosts attached to it. Besides, this place sounds like a mausoleum.Read more ›
My companion is training to be an explainer at the American Museum of Natural History, and this book is one that her instructor strongly suggests that all of the candidates read. That alone, is a strong recommendation to read this account of the many people who made this amazing collection.
It is not a formal history of the museum, but rather a number of little essays (stories Preston calls them) on various interesting moments in that history.
Some reviewers note many typos, but the currently available printing -- mine is number 13 -- have no such problems -- as a former proofreader I would notice.
An excursion, the perfect description of the pleasures here.
An excellent coffee table version of many of the same stories, and many more, with a great wealth of excellent photographs, is American Museum of Natural History: 125 Years of Expedition and Discovery. The museum has published many superb books, but none better than this one -- the highest possible praise I can offer people that love museums of all sorts.
Robert C. Ross
Dinosaurs in the Attic was fact filled, thought provoking, entertaining NONSTOP. This book is a treasure and I highly recommend it to everyone who enjoys a great tale of adventure and history. It was so entertaining, even though it is nonfiction, Preston made me want to read more and THEN(unfortunately) it was over. Wanted it to go on and on.
What a great friend Douglas Preston is to the museum - great book to read before going to American Museum of Natural History.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
3.5 points I always enjoy Doug Preston's writing and his partner's. I especially enjoy the stories starring Pendergast - then I want to read the book cover to cover and I purchase... Read morePublished 8 months ago by avid reader U.S.
Fantastic book! From someone who spent a large portion of his life in this museum on weekends.Published 9 months ago by Customer who cares for other customers.
Great service. The book is disappointing though from half of Preston and Child. Encyclopdia stuff.Published 13 months ago by Cynthia D. Stubbs
Thoroughly enjoyed this book. After reading numerous books by Preston I was always intrigued by the research he had done, and was delighted to learn of the many rooms in the Museum... Read morePublished 14 months ago by Jawbone