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The Road to Jaramillo: Critical Years of the Revolution in Earth Science [Hardcover]

William Glen
4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)

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4.0 out of 5 stars A magnificent account, but difficult to read Nov. 14 2000
Format:Hardcover
For a student of geology, this is an excellent book, but for the average reader it is entirely too technical and detailed. Even as a chemical engineer who frequently reads scientific journals, this reader found the book to be a struggle. Still, it provides superb insight into the real world of scientific discovery, showing how personal interactions, circumstance, and serendipity play critical roles. It was well worth reading in its entirety. The author has obviously gone to great lengths to produce a thorough account of how reversals in the earth's magnetic field, dated by radioactive decay, came to be understood and used to prove seafloor spreading and continental drift.
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Amazon.com: 4.5 out of 5 stars  2 reviews
14 of 17 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A magnificent account, but difficult to read Nov. 14 2000
By Roy F. Johnson - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover
For a student of geology, this is an excellent book, but for the average reader it is entirely too technical and detailed. Even as a chemical engineer who frequently reads scientific journals, this reader found the book to be a struggle. Still, it provides superb insight into the real world of scientific discovery, showing how personal interactions, circumstance, and serendipity play critical roles. It was well worth reading in its entirety. The author has obviously gone to great lengths to produce a thorough account of how reversals in the earth's magnetic field, dated by radioactive decay, came to be understood and used to prove seafloor spreading and continental drift.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars I really enjoyed it! Dec 9 2005
By A. Souren - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover
I wrote an enthusiastic review for this book years ago, right here on Amazon, and later deleted it. I wish I hadn't! I read The Road to Jaramillo in the early 1980s, when I either was about to become or had just become a geology student. I remember it as a tough but very exciting read. I didn't have a scientific background at the time, had worked in tourism for five years at that point.

I think you can easily skip the technical bits and focus on the excitement of the discoveries. There was something fairytale-like to it. What I also seem to remember about the book is that it radiated an atmosphere of cooperation. That is always lovely to see. Enjoyable. Science is often extremely competitive, and it can hamper progress when it makes scientists focus on the wrong things.
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