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How the Mountains Grew
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About the Author

John Dvorak, PhD, has studied volcanoes and earthquakes around the world for the United States Geological Survey, first at Mount St. Helens in 1980, then a series of assignments in Hawaii, Italy, Indonesia, Central America and Alaska. In addition to dozens of papers published in scientific journals, Dvorak has written cover stories for Scientific American, Astronomy and Physics Today.

Reviews

“Earth scientist John Dvorak’s exuberant new book How the Mountains Grew: A New Geological History of North America puts these Anthropocene fires into the context of deep time. Dvorak is a wonderful storyteller. He weaves disparate threads of past worlds into a coherent fabric of time, place and life that provides the ultimate context for all specific modern environmental issues. When reading How the Mountains Grew, I could easily imagine being outdoors with him breaking rocks in a search for fossils, crawling up some canyon wall to count the sands of time or trekking across one of our great ice sheets. His human stories are also fascinating, especially those involving serendipitous discoveries. Is this really a ‘new’ geologic history? Yes. Dvorak challenges the conventional wisdom. [The book] has a vast scope and an envelope-pushing narrative. This new geologic history of North America will enrich your everyday personal experiences.”
*The Wall Street Journal*

“Imagine a world where pigeon-sized dragonflies soar above spiders with half-meter-long legs, where 2-meter-long millipedes slither and 20-kilogram scorpions hunt. About 300 million years ago, such surreal creatures thrived; today, rocks hint at how these and other creatures in the deep past lived. These clues allow geologist and writer John Dvorak to vividly re-create ancient landscapes in How the Mountains Grew.Far from a dusty tome plodding through plate tectonics, the book teems with life as Dvorak establishes inextricable links between geology and biology. Dvorak’s storytelling shines bright.”
*Science News*

Praise for John Dvorak 

“Dvorak has done earthquake science sterling service by writing what is unarguably the best, the most comprehensive and compellingly readable book about the great fault that will one day affect all our lives.”
*Simon Winchester, New York Times bestselling author*

“For a more expansive look at how eclipses have been mythologized throughout history, turn to Mask of the Sun. Dvorak offers useful, engaging background, and provides a deeper understanding.”
*The New York Times*

“A lively biography. Dvorak is a great storyteller with a keen eye for details. His descriptions of the intense heat almost singe the page. Riveting.”
*Wall Street Journal*

"Bubbling and sloughing under the surface of John Dvorak's terrific new book is the quietly terrifying reminder that we somehow manage to live on a tectonically active planet. A remarkable story.”
*The Christian Science Monitor*

“Dvorak’s meticulously researched book covers the history of human reactions and interpretations from Homer to the Bible and beyond. A well-rounded, entertaining, and authoritative survey.”
*Omnivoracious*

“A rich chronicle.”
*NATURE*

“The story of Thomas Jagger and Isabel Maydwell is an inspiring tale of devotion, both to science and to each other.”
*Scientific American*

“Jaggar's thrilling adventures to volcanic hot zones like Alaska and Hawaii, where he explored inside active volcanoes, makes one appreciate the fearless nature required for a life of volcanology. Riveting.”
*The American Scholar*

“Dvorak brings Jagger to life in a richly researched narrative as thrilling as his topic, creating the sort of popular science history that flies off the shelves.”
*Booklist (starred review)*

“Earth scientist John Dvorak’s exuberant new book How the Mountains Grew: A New Geological History of North America puts these Anthropocene fires into the context of deep time. Dvorak is a wonderful storyteller. He weaves disparate threads of past worlds into a coherent fabric of time, place and life that provides the ultimate context for all specific modern environmental issues. When reading How the Mountains Grew, I could easily imagine being outdoors with him breaking rocks in a search for fossils, crawling up some canyon wall to count the sands of time or trekking across one of our great ice sheets. His human stories are also fascinating, especially those involving serendipitous discoveries. Is this really a ‘new’ geologic history? Yes. Dvorak challenges the conventional wisdom. [The book] has a vast scope and an envelope-pushing narrative. This new geologic history of North America will enrich your everyday personal experiences.”
*The Wall Street Journal*

“Earth scientist John Dvorak’s exuberant new book How the Mountains Grew: A New Geological History of North America puts these Anthropocene fires into the context of deep time. Dvorak is a wonderful storyteller. He weaves disparate threads of past worlds into a coherent fabric of time, place and life that provides the ultimate context for all specific modern environmental issues. When reading How the Mountains Grew, I could easily imagine being outdoors with him breaking rocks in a search for fossils, crawling up some canyon wall to count the sands of time or trekking across one of our great ice sheets. His human stories are also fascinating, especially those involving serendipitous discoveries. Is this really a ‘new’ geologic history? Yes. Dvorak challenges the conventional wisdom. [The book] has a vast scope and an envelope-pushing narrative. This new geologic history of North America will enrich your everyday personal experiences.”
*The Wall Street Journal*

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