Rising From The Plains

Paperback | November 1, 1987

byJohn McPhee

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Rising from the Plains is John McPhee's third book on geology and geologists. Following Basin and Range and In Suspect Terrain, it continues to present a cross section of North America along the fortieth parallel-a series gathering under the overall title Annals of the Former World.

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Rising from the Plains is John McPhee's third book on geology and geologists. Following Basin and Range and In Suspect Terrain, it continues to present a cross section of North America along the fortieth parallel-a series gathering under the overall title Annals of the Former World.

John McPhee was born in Princeton, New Jersey, and was educated at Princeton University and Cambridge University. His writing career began at Time magazine and led to his long association with The New Yorker, where he has been a staff writer since 1965. Also in 1965, he published his first book, A Sense of Where You Are, with Farrar, ...

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Format:PaperbackDimensions:208 pages, 8.5 × 5.5 × 0.48 inPublished:November 1, 1987Publisher:Farrar, Straus And Giroux

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0374520658

ISBN - 13:9780374520656

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Rising From The PlainsThis is about high-country geology and a Rocky Mountain regional geologist. I raise that semaphore here at the start so no one will feel misled by an opening passage in which a slim young woman who is not in any sense a geologist steps down from a train in Rawlins, Wyoming, in order to go north by stagecoach into country that was still very much the Old West. She arrived in the autumn of 1905, when she was twenty-three. Her hair was so blond it looked white. In Massachusetts, a few months before, she had graduated from Wellesley College and had been awarded a Phi Beta Kappa key, which now hung from a chain around her neck. Her field was classical studies. In addition to her skills in Latin and Greek, she could handle a horse expertly, but never had she made a journey into a region as remote as the one that lay before her.Meanwhile, Rawlins surprised her: Rawlins, where shootings had once been so frequent that there seemed to be--ascitizens put it--"a man for breakfast every morning"; Rawlins, halfway across a state that was spending per annum far more to kill wolves and coyotes than to support its nineteen-year-old university. She had expected a "backward" town, a "frontier" town, a street full of badmen like Big Nose George, the road agent, the plunderer of stagecoaches, who signed his hidden-treasure maps "B. N. George." Instead, this October evening, she was met at the station by a lackey with a handcart, who wheeled her luggage to the Ferris Hotel. A bellboy took over, his chest a constellation of buttons. The place was three stories high, and cozy with steam heat. The lights were electric. There were lace curtains. What does it matter, she reflected, if the pitchers lack spouts?Copyright © 1986 by John McPhee

Editorial Reviews

"Mr. McPhee has created a style--blending detailed reporting with a novelistic sense of narrative--and a standard that have influenced a whole generation of journalists." -Timothy Bay, The Baltimore Sun"McPhee rides shotgun across Wyoming in a four-wheel-drive Bronco while the geologist David Love steers, lectures, and reminisces....This instructive account of the geologic West and the frontier West is a delight." -Evan S. Connell, The New York Times Book Review