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Basin and Range ePUB ☆ Basin and ePUB ☆

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 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


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    What I absolutely love about McPhee's nonfiction is his ability to write about place Bason and Range people Deffeyes and ideas plate tectonics with both beautiful prose and amazing intimacy My favorite parts are where McPhee weaves place and people or people and ideas together and establishes the grand metaphor for his book Example At any given moment no two geologists are going to have their heads exactly the same level of acceptance of all hypotheses and theories that are floating around Deffeyes said There are always many ideas in various stages of acceptance That is how science works Ideas range from the solidly accepted to the half baked those in process of forming the sorts of things about which people call each other up in the middle of the nightIT is amazing to me that McPhee is able to illicit a quote from a geologist that suggests subtly that all science itself IS like plate tectonics shifting moving banging into each other erroding collapsing Again McPhee is amazing