- Series: Scientific American Library (Book 17)
- Hardcover: 230 pages
- Publisher: W H Freeman & Co (August 1987)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0716750171
- ISBN-13: 978-0716750178
- Product Dimensions: 0.8 x 8.8 x 9.5 inches
- Shipping Weight: 1.6 pounds
- Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,559,050 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Islands (Scientific American Library)
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Top Customer Reviews
Scientific American turned out a number of very good books on various subjects of interest to a well-informed, educated citizenry willing to put some effort into their reading. Particularly heartening, as was the magazine itself, back in the days of the Reagan Administration, when a strong anti-intellectual current was sweeping through the funhouse aquarium we live in here in the United States. This particular book was published in 1986.
The long-late author, H.W. Menard, was a marine geologist; Cal Institute of Tech, Harvard, and the Navy. That he was a geologist, not a biologist, shows pretty clearly. The book is almost entirely from the vantage point of geology: plate tectonics, volcanism, and coral. Picking the book up, readers will likely wonder "Islands? In just what sense, islands? Culture? Biology? Flora? Formation?"
In the case of this book, formation is the author's interest. In this aspect, the book may be disappointing to some readers. It's likely that the first chapter, "Finding islands" will be of most interest to the general reader. The author describes the progress of European navigation and exploration of the oceans, but by the end of the chapter, he gets over to the Polynesians as well. He the meantime he works in some general remarks about the superficial (to him) nature of various islands, and mentions Darwin's musings on island biotopes more than once. But he also inserts some stuff about oil exploration, the geologist's bread-and-butter. He uses the stuff about oil exploration, however, to set up a statistical parallel to the likelihood that a given island will be discovered.Read more ›