Posted: August 4, 2006
Bedrock, a new book coedited by Center for the Environment director Lauret Savoy, made the Wall Street Journal's five best science books. In a July 29 "Five Best" column titled "Quest for Knowledge," writer Russell Seitz said, "You don't have to work in a lab to love these science books."
Here's what Sietz had to say about Bedrock (Trinity University, 2006), which was also coedited by Eldridge M. Moores and Judith E. Morres.
"How can you comprehend the immensity of the Earth's past? Pick up this inch-thick book. In sections covering everything from 'Faults, Earthquakes, and Tsunamis' to 'The Work of Ice,' its six-dozen narratives of action and endurance, stasis and change, convey the wonders of deep time. Some of the geology writing is great, all of it absorbing, taken from the works of a marvelous array of writers. It fast-forwards two millennia from Pliny the Younger's description of his uncle's death in the eruption of Vesuvius in A.D. 79 to Ursula K. Le Guin's front-porch view of Mount St. Helens blowing sky high in 1980. No less riveting is Antoine de Saint-Exupéry's account of landing his plane on a sandy Saharan plateau so remote that his are the first footprints there and the only rocks are fallen stars."
Sietz, a physicist in Cambridge, Massachusetts, also included Georgius Agricola's De Re Metallica (1556), Alexander von Humboldt's Cosmos (1845), Dava Sobel's Longitude (Walker, 1995), and William R. Newman's Promethean Ambitions (University of Chicago, 2005) among his top five.