Review by Choice Review
Cloud (geology, University of California, Santa Barbara) is editor and coauthor of several recognized geological publications and recipient of the prestigious Penrose Medal of the Geological Society of America. To cover 4.6 billion years of earth history in one volume is an enormous task that Cloud has done in a most enjoyable manner. The text is divided into three major parts, the first of which includes the very beginnings of the solar system and the primordial earth. Background chapters inform the reader on geologic methods of extracting data from rocks and of determining geologic time. The second part has chapters discussing the primordial crust and early seas along with information on plate tectonics and continental drift. Also included are chapters on the origin and early evolution of life. The third part covers the time from the Paleozoic to the present with chapters covering both the geologic and biologic evolutions that led to the modern world. Written in textbook style, with chapter summaries, the book ends with an epilogue and an appendix with supplemental readings. It is well illustrated with some in color. This book would serve best in an undergraduate library.-B.D. Dod, Mercer University
Copyright American Library Association, used with permission.
Review by Library Journal Review
Recently there have been numerous books designed to acquaint the educated layperson with the latest developments in physics, cosmology, and biology, but few that describe the present state of belief in geologic science. Thus Cloud's overview of earth history from the beginning is welcome. Written like a good earth science textbook for the nonspecialist, this book does an admirable job of explaining what scientists believe and why they believe it. It details both the conventional wisdom and some of the interesting but controversial new ideas. Recommended for college, university, and large public libraries. Harold D. Shane, Baruch Coll., CUNY (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
(c) Copyright Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.