Basin and Range Author:John McPhee The first of John McPhee’s works in his series on geology and geologists, Basin and Range is a book of journeys through ancient terrains, always in juxtaposition with travels in the modern world—a history of vanished landscapes, enhanced by the histories of people who bring them to light. The title refers to the physiographic ... more »province of the United States that reaches from eastern Utah to eastern California, a silent world of austere beauty, of hundreds of discrete high mountain ranges that are green with junipers and often white with snow. The terrain becomes the setting for a lyrical evocation of the science of geology, with important digressions into the plate-tectonics revolution and the history of the geologic time scale.« less
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This book is the first book in a series on geology and geologists, presenting a cross section of North America along the fourtieth parallel. A trip west is an intro to plate Tectonics probably the most readable summary extant. Geologists will fingd it sound ,others will find it illuminating.
This is a wonderful book. I've read a few that cover some of the same ground (figuratively speaking), like Assembling California, and you can get some of the same insights there. A lot of explanation of the history of Geology, and the Plate Tectonic Revolution of the 1960s. He can combine the sublime and ridiculous in one sentence sometimes.