• Assembling California

  • By: John McPhee
  • Narrated by: Nelson Runger
  • Length: 9 hrs and 49 mins
  • 4.4 out of 5 stars (239 ratings)

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Assembling California  By  cover art

Assembling California

By: John McPhee
Narrated by: Nelson Runger
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Publisher's summary

At various times in a span of 15 years, John McPhee made geological field surveys in the company of Eldridge Moores, a tectonicist at the University of California at Davis. The result of these trips is Assembling California, a cross-section in human and geologic time, from Donner Pass in the Sierra Nevada through the golden foothills of the Mother Lode and across the Great Central Valley to the wine country of the Coast Ranges, the rock of San Francisco, and the San Andreas family of faults.

The two disparate time scales occasionally intersect — in the gold disruptions of the 19th century no less than in the earthquakes of the 20th — and always with relevance to a newly understood geologic history in which half a dozen large and separate pieces of country are seen to have drifted in from far and near to coalesce as California.

McPhee and Moores also journeyed to remote mountains of Arizona and to Cyprus and northern Greece, where rock of the deep-ocean floor has been transported into continental settings, as it has in California. Global in scope and a delight to listen to, Assembling California is a sweeping narrative of maps in motion, of evolving and dissolving lands.

©1993 John McPhee (P)1993 Recorded Books, LLC