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Secrets from the Rocks [Hardcover]

By Albert Marrin (Author)
Our Price $ 16.14  
Retail Value $ 18.99  
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Item Number 156440  
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Item Specifications...

Pages   80
Est. Packaging Dimensions:   Length: 11.34" Width: 9.3" Height: 0.51"
Weight:   1.4 lbs.
Binding  Hardcover
Release Date   May 31, 2002
Publisher   Dutton Juvenile
ISBN  0525467432  
EAN  9780525467434  

Availability  0 units.

Item Description...
"I was born to be an explorer. I couldn't do anything else and be happy." Starting in 1922, Roy Chapman Andrews, working for the American Museum of Natural History, conceived a whole new "team" way of searching for fossils and led five car-and-camel expeditions to the Gobi Desert in Mongolia. His team's discoveries-of dinosaur eggs, new dinosaur species, and the earliest mammals-changed the way we think about the great Age of Dinosaurs. In deft, vivid strokes, master storyteller and historian Albert Marrin captures the excitement and the science of the expedition's encounters not only with fossils but with suffocating sandstorms, snakes, bandits, a strange culture, political turmoil, and more.

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More About Albert Marrin

Register your artisan biography and upload your photo! Albert Marrin ( the acclained author of more than forty award-winning nonfiction books for young people. Among his many honors are the James Madison Book Award for Lifetime Achievement and and Endowment for the Humanities Medal. He lives in Riverdale, New York and Miami, Florida."

Albert Marrin currently resides in Riverdale, in the state of New York. Albert Marrin was born in 1962.

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Reviews - What do our customers think?
Nice photos - some attempt to humanize myth  Jan 19, 2008
This is another book on Andrews and the Central Asiatic Expeditions based on Andrews' own publications. Reference is made to the possible existence of other material from other members, but apparently the author made no attempt access to it. So, independent research lacks. That's an inherent problem with the more recent Andrews-CAE books: they rely heavily on the previously published material of one person, Andrews himself.

There is, nevertheless, an attempt to show kids that 'heroes' have flaws. But it's the hero presumption as applied to Andrews that really needs to be questioned. This book does not and instead suggests that, because he was so anointed, we have to live with it.

The CAE's science, as clearly shown, obviously belonged in the hands of others. This makes one wonder why mis-impressions of that premise nevertheless continue to exist.

The odd reference to 'Walt' Granger seems unique to this book. That is how Andrews inscribed a photo to him, but it is not how Granger was commonly known. Speaking of photos, that's Peter Kaisen (not George Olsen) in the photo at p. 29. The identification of Granger in the foreground of the photo at p. 49 (same as cover photo) is also in error. That's George Olsen (or Albert Thomson, depending on the year of the photo), not Granger, in the foreground. Andrews is to his left, a Chinese worker (perhaps Mr. Wang) is to Andrews' left, then Walter Granger, then Kan Chuen Pao (aka 'Buckshot').

Also, the Central Asiatic Expeditions did not begin as such. They originally were named the "Third Asiatic Expeditions" because they followed Andrews' First and Second Zoological Expeditions. Those were the ones Yvette attended. Henry Fairfield Osborn renamed this third to "Central Asiatic Expeditions" midway through the decade. Walter Granger didn't like the renaming, by the way, probably because they weren't truly in the central part of Asia.

There is some wierd logic here that I will never understand. At p. 46, Marrin writes: "Without realizing it, in 1923 Walter Granger made an exciting discovery. He found the skull of 'an unidentified reptile' in the same sandstone formation as Protoceratops. Although a brilliant paleontologist, Granger was still a human being. Like all humans, he made mistakes. This time he made a whopper. Museum preparators back in New York City got to the `reptile' skull two years later and were shocked at what they found. When they freed it from the surrounding rock, they saw that it only was an inch and a half in length. They could tell from its pointy snout, used to sniff out food, that it was no reptile skull. Given its size, they thought it must have belonged to a mammal no larger than a rat, probably one with a long tail and furry body. It was a mammal from the Age of Reptiles! Only one other mammal skull from the Age of Reptiles had ever been found, in South Africa." Now, if the NYC preparators didn't know it until two years later when they finally dug the skull out ('freed it from surrounding rock'), how on earth was Walter Granger supposed to identify it in the field while it was still encased in rock, and only once before had a fossil mammal been found in the Age of Reptiles and that was at a place many continents away? This wasn't a whopper mistake on Granger's part. Granger clearly wrote "unidentified" and didn't presume anything beyond "reptile" because that was the age he was working in. To try to portray this otherwise simply is ridiculous, modern-day oneupsmanship.

I gave this 3 stars because a 2.5-star rating isn't available.

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