Rising from the Plains

By John McPhee,

Book cover of Rising from the Plains

Book description

Pulitzer Prize-winning author John McPhee continues his Annals of the Former World series about the geology of North America along the fortieth parallel with Rising from the Plains.

This third volume presents another exciting geological excursion with an engaging account of life—past and present—in the high plains of Wyoming.


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Why read it?

2 authors picked Rising from the Plains as one of their favorite books. Why do they recommend it?

Rising from the Plains is one of three geological and historical expeditions by John McPhee which together won the Pulitzer Prize as Annals of the Former World. The book intertwines a narrative of how the Rocky Mountains were formed with the story of its narrator, David Love, a Wyoming geologist who deciphered the geology and whose own family’s history is a fascinating snapshot of early-pioneering days in the West.

From Sam's list on earth history.

Growing up, I had an inkling that Wyoming was a magnet for geologists because every summer a van full of geology students from halfway across the country would arrive at our ranch to study the rocks. After reading Rising from the Plains, I understood why. The book is the story of a scientist, David Love, who spent his entire career studying the geology of Wyoming. With his usual elegant style, McPhee weaves together an account of the complex geological history of the state with the personal history of David Love’s family, who had been ranching in Wyoming since the…

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