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The Earth: An Intimate History


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/ Lead title The paperback of the Sunday Times bestseller that reveals how the earth became the shape it is today. This book will change the way you see the world -- permanently. / The Earth was a Sunday Times bestseller in hardback and has sold over 14,000 copies to date. / Devoted fans of Fortey's writing include Bill Bryson and Simon Winchester. His books are as accessible and entertaining as theirs. / Hardback received ecstatic review coverage and was chosen as a Book of the Year in the Sunday Telegraph and the Economist. Widespread coverage for the paperback is also expected. / Includes a fantastic PS section with an author profile, exclusive essay on the book and much more.

About the Author

Richard Fortey is a senior palaeontologist at the Natural History Museum in London. His previous books include the critically acclaimed Life: An Unauthorised Biography, Trilobite! and The Hidden Landscape. He lives in London


Though few of the leaf peepers driving through the Smokies this fall will know it, the Appalachians used to extend all the way to Scotland. In this sprawling geological survey, British paleontologist Fortey (Trilobite! Eyewitness to Evolution) tells readers that millions of years ago, before the land masses broke apart, the Caledonide Mountains formed the northernmost end of an enormous mountain range. Starting in the shadow of Vesuvius, Fortey's global tour moves to the Hawaiian islands, which, he explains, are falling back into the sea from northwest to southeast. Readers trek with him through the Alps and learn how rock folds and stretches. Fortey doesn't restrict himself to current geological time: he says the continents have broken apart and reformed more than once and will likely crunch together again in a few million years; the Pacific Ocean is gradually closing up because the lighter-weight continents are slowly drifting over the underlying basalt. Some readers may wish for more discussion of desert areas, though there is a beautiful account of a descent through Earth's history via burro into the Grand Canyon. Fortey's writing is wonderfully descriptive, but once in a while one wishes he'd kept to his main path and not wandered off into tangential topics. Geology and earth sciences buffs will eat this up. 32 pages of color illus. not seen by PW; 58 b&w illus. Agent, Witherspoon Assoc. (Nov.) Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information.

'A dazzling achievement. Richard Fortey is without peer among science writers.' Bill Bryson 'The Earth is a true delight: full of awe-inspiring details ! it blends travel, history, reportage and science to create an unforgettable picture of our ancient earth.' Sunday Times 'This is not a book for people who like science books. It is a book for people who love books, and life ! Fortey has written a wonderful book.' Tim Radford, Guardian 'Read this book because it is, indeed, the best natural history of the first four billion years of life on earth.' John Gribbin, Sunday Times 'Fortey writes beautifully and this is a wonderful biography of rock and life ! He has restored palaeontology to its rightful place in the pantheon.' Lewis Wolpert, Observer 'The tale of life needs constant retelling. Thank some happy accident of history that we have Fortey to tell it to us anew.' Ted Nield, New Scientist

As a popular geology writer, British paleontologist Fortey (Trilobite!) is in the same league as John McPhee, with an ability to make Earth history both poetic and wonderfully interesting. In order to explore the titanic forces of plate tectonics on a human scale, Fortey visited global locations that have been historically important in unscrambling the puzzle of our dynamic planet (e.g., Vesuvius, Hawaii, the Alps, the Deccan Traps in India, the Grand Canyon) so that "the reader will have this particular guide's reactions to the sights, sounds, smells and ambiance of the critical localities." A brilliant tour guide, Fortey offers a lively mix of science, human history, and personal experience that makes imperceptibly slow geologic change equally as compelling as volcanic catastrophe. Highly recommended for most science collections. [See Prepub Alert, LJ 7/04.]-Amy Brunvand, Univ. of Utah Lib., Salt Lake City Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information.

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