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The Second Jurassic Dinosaur Rush: Museums and Paleontology in America at the Turn of the Twentieth Century Hardcover – July 15, 2010
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"[A]n excellent and extraordinarily detailed new book...[that] really raises the bar, plumbing an enormous quantity of source material and expertly weaving a story of scientific discovery, egos, personalities and museum politics ... an important resource for people interested in ... dinosaur[s]."
(Darren Naish Historical Biology)
"Brinkman paints an intricate portrait of paleontological fieldwork. No doubt, the author's own field experience helped to lend richness to his descriptions of day-to-day practice."
(Megan Raby Journal of the History of Biology)
"Paul Brinkman provides a flood of new data on American fossil collecting in a book that reads more like an Old West novel than a historical monograph."
(Caitlyn Wylie British Journal for the History of Science)
"This well written volume reads like a thriller and will fascinate any reader."
(Stephen K. Donovan Geological Journal)
(J. C. Kricher Choice )
“[G]round-breaking…the many detailed quotations and descriptions paint a richly textured picture of the day-to-day activities of American dinosaur hunters at the turn of the twentieth century.”
(Keynyn Brysse, Annals of Science)
From the Back Cover
"This superbly researched and illustrated book carries the subject of dinosaur paleontology from the end of the much discussed Marsh-Cope era to just short of the discovery of Dinosaur National Monument. It is a period of the establishment of museums in New York, Pittsburgh, and Chicago to exhibit the mounted skeletons. From the archives, including many letters from field collectors like Hatcher to museum directors like Holland, one learns details of the collecting at major quarries like Bone Cabin Quarry and Sheep Creek, but also of the scientists' often complicated relationships with one another and with their superiors. At the end, one feels personally acquainted with the personalities in this engaging book."
John McIntosh, Wesleyan University
"In the years around 1900, major U.S. museums raced to find the best and biggest dinosaurs and put them on display. It was a decisive decade for paleontology, when the public first got a spectacular view of the strangeness of the prehistoric world, and dinomania first took off. Based on thorough archival research, this is a fascinating story of ambitious administrators and scientists, their moneyed patrons, and the often invisible technicians and fieldworkers on whom the whole project depended."
Martin Rudwick, author of Worlds Before Adam and Bursting the Limits of Time
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The reality of hunting for dinosaurs is still wonderful, but the workers in the field suffered much of the same stress that most of us encounter in our working lives: tight schedules and budgets, pressure to increase productivity, and occasionally, the coldly insensitive boss, as when Holland denied Peterson's request for some bereavement time after his brother-in-law, John Bell Hatcher, had died. Not to forget the heat, cold, and gnats.
Paul D. Brinkman has done what appears to be exhaustive research of the correspondence between the curators at the museums and the collectors in the field, as well as published scientific papers, to provide an in-depth look at the period of dinosaur paleontology immediately following the passing of Cope and Marsh. Marsh was opposed to mounting dinosaur skeletons, but published illustrations of reconstructed skeletons that, for the first time, provided the public with a vision of what dinosaurs may have looked like. Those illustrations served as the impetus for the race to mount a big, sauropod dinosaur skeleton, between three natural history museums: The American Museum in New York, the Carnegie Museum in Pittsburgh, and the Field Columbian Museum in Chicago.
For those of us who love dinosaurs, especially from the Jurassic Morrison formation, and most especially sauropods, this is a wonderfully thorough book, entertainingly written, and a great pleasure to read.
Having worked at several of the institutions and field areas featured within, and with senior generations of paleontologists who knew personally the major characters, this book has provided me with fascinating context and closer ties to the genesis of paleo as we know it today.
to read and presented in a style I personally like. Treating the
characters as people who have histories, personal lives and opinions is
great. A behind the scenes look at turn of the century paleontology and a
must read for anyone interested in paleontology and dinosaurs.