Rising from the plains

by John McPhee

Hardcover, 1986




New York : Farrar, Straus, Giroux, c1986.


Bestselling author McPhee takes us on another exciting geological excursion with this engaging account of life--past and present--in the high plains of Wyoming.

User reviews

LibraryThing member branjohb
I loved this book, it was about the Rocky Mountains, Wyoming, geology, and one of the great Rocky Mountain geologist ever named David Love. The author took us through a journey about David Love's life and then the author took us on a journey with David Love where he describes some of the geology and events that went on in Wyoming in the past 2.5 billion years.

This book is recommended for those scientifically or geologically inclined. The author is very limited on describing the geologic terms he uses in the book so if you are not a geologist, have a geologic dictionary close by. Two thumbs up.
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LibraryThing member jmatson
A book about the geology of Wyoming. Sound boring? Well, it isn't. This happens to be one of the most interesting and well written books I've read. HIghly recommended.
LibraryThing member jjmcgaffey
Good but not wonderful. A little too scattered, in both time and space. As before, I found the geology interesting and the minutia of people's lives less so - and here large chunks of the book were about geology as seen by one particular man, and why and how he saw the stuff was elaborately explained by going back a generation and describing his parents, how they met, courted, married and raised their kids. The whole book was a compilation of flashbacks - to a generation before, to years before, and to other times within the author's visit with the geologist. He kept saying that the geologist, David Love, had made some comment; then when the basic structure of the book, their trip through Wyoming, got to the point where Love had made that comment McPhee would mention it again. It got quite annoying. It was worse in the earlier generation flashbacks - they weren't presented in chronological order, and at one point I spent most of a scene trying to figure out who "the baby" was (turned out to be Love's older brother - their only child at that point - but I'd just been reading about the two boys at five and seven (or so)). I barely noticed the events in the scene for my confusion. The geology suffered from this a bit too - a long bit discussing how plate tectonics don't explain some features, followed by an explanation of what plate tectonics are, for instance. Overall, interesting but could have used some editing for clarity. And there are several points where I'm pretty sure that things presented in the book (written in 1986) as confusing or anomalous have been solved, which makes me want to find some more current info. Despite my complaints, I'm glad I read it and will probably reread. Reasonably enjoyable.… (more)
LibraryThing member mnicol
Love remarked that day at the cabin: "My great uncle John Muir founded the Sierra Club, and here I am, being a traitor". .. "A scientist, as a scientist does not determine what should be the public policy in terms of exploration for oil and gas."...
Love remarked that oil shale "had been trumpeted to the skies" but, with the energy crisis in perigee, both government and industry were losing interest and pulling out. Temporarily pulling out. Sooner or later, people were going to want that shale.
... Just an amazing piece of writing from start to end, I set the 3 issues of the New Yorker aside in 1986 and only got to read it in 2016! This is from the days when the New Yorker still published articles of respectable length. The article reads well alongside Andrea Wulf's fine 2015 biography of Alexander von Humboldt.
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LibraryThing member deldevries
interesting read while on vacation in WY - Thermopolis, Yellowstone, Jackson, and Pinedale.
LibraryThing member SCRH
A book about geologist David Love, a nephew of John Muir, so in that sense a tie to the Disciples of Christ, but that is not mentioned.

Wyoming history is revealed in part, especially in and around Lander.

A nice little book that would be enhanced if it had an index.



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