Friday, April 30, 2004


The works by William K. Hartmann and Ron Miller, The History of Earth: An Illustrated Chronicle of an Evolving Planet (1991), lavishly illustrated; Preston Cloud, Oasis in Space: Earth History from the Beginning (1988); and Jonathan Weiner, Planet Earth (1986), the companion volume to a PBS television series, are good introductions to the planet for the general reader. An older but excellent summary of the historical development of plate tectonics is the book by Ursula B. Marvin, Continental Drift: The Evolution of a Concept (1973). Virgil L. Sharpton and Peter D. Ward (eds.), Global Catastrophes in Earth History: An Interdisciplinary Conference on Impacts, Volcanism, and Mass Mortality (1990), is a technical but definitive collection of papers on the role of giant impacts in the Earth's history. Earth (bimonthly), published in Waukesha, Wis., is for the general reader.


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