TITLE: The Earth: An Intimate History
AUTHOR: Richard Fortey
DATE PUBLISHED: 2005
"This is the life story of our planet - told by one of our most brilliant science writers. With Richard Fortey as our guide we not only travel back through geological time to discover the planet's spectacular past, but also climb the Alps, wallow in Icelandic hot springs and walk through the luch ecosystems of Hawaii. On the way we discover the awesome truth about the world we inhabit - from Los Angeles life to statues of the Buddha; from the slow crawl of stained glass to the history of the dollar."
This book is an informative but rather rambling mix of geology and travel writing. The book revolves around the various facets of plate tectonics, how each piece of the theory was puzzled out and how those pieces fit together to give us the Earth we have today. Fortey uses examples from all over the world to illustrate the various geological processes. Everything from fault lines, development of mountain ranges and oceans, subduction zones, volcanoes, earthquakessupercontinents, the Earth's interior, mining, minerals and gems, as well as a bit of ecology are covered. Fortey also emphasizes how the geology and geomorphology of a specific area has shaped ethinic culture and human experiences. The author is enthusiastic about his subject. The wirting is poetic and colourful, often dramatic, though sometimes a bit long-winded. The book contains photographs but is in desperate need of illustrations and diagrams of the various processes discussed. An interesting book for the intelligent layreader, who isn't afraid of a few technical terms.