Basin and Range Author:John McPhee Basin and Range is a book of journeys through ancient terrains, always in juxtaposition with travels in the modern world--a history of vanished landscapes, enhanced by the histories of people who bring them to light. The title refers to the physiographic province of the United States that reaches from eastern Utah to eastern California, a silent... more » world of austere beauty, of hundreds of discrete high mountain ranges that are green with junipers and often white with snow, a spectacular topography that is never evoked by people who dismiss it as "desert."
On and off Interstate 80, the author traversed the Basin and Range with Kennety S. Deffeyes, a professor of geology who has done extensive field work in Nevada. The terrain becomes the setting and sample for a lyrical evocation of the science of geology, with important digresisons into the plate-tectonics revolution and the history of the geologic time scale.« less
This book is the first book in a series on geology and geologists, presenting a cross section of North America along the fourtieth parallel. A trip west is an intro to plate Tectonics probably the most readable summary extant. Geologists will fingd it sound ,others will find it illuminating.