Annals of the Former World

4 books in series
4.5 out of 5 stars 788 ratings

Basin and Range Publisher's Summary

To geologists, rocks are beautiful, roadcuts are windowpanes, and the earth is alive, a work in progress. The cataclysmic movement that gives birth to mountains and oceans is ongoing and can still be seen at certain places on our planet. One of these is the Basin and Range region centered in Nevada and Utah.

In this first book of a Pulitzer Prize-winning collection, the author crosses the spectacular Basin and Range with geology professor Kenneth Deffeyes in tow. McPhee draws on Deffeyes' expertise to dazzle you with the vast perspective of geologic time and the fascinating history of vanished landscapes. The effect is guaranteed to expand your mind.

McPhee's enthusiasm is infectious, as he provides one of the best introductions to plate tectonics and the New Geology. His elegant style is more pleasing than ever with narrator Nelson Runger's smooth, enthusiastic delivery. Runger mines the book's rich veins of poetic prose and subtle humor, and the result is pure gold.

©1980, 1981 John McPhee (P)1999 Recorded Books, LLC
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  • Book 1

    • Basin and Range

    • Annals of the Former World, Book 1
    • By: John McPhee
    • Narrated by: Nelson Runger
    • Length: 6 hrs and 56 mins
    • Unabridged
    • Overall
      4 out of 5 stars 333
    • Performance
      4.5 out of 5 stars 173
    • Story
      4.5 out of 5 stars 176

    To geologists, rocks are beautiful, roadcuts are windowpanes, and the earth is alive, a work in progress. The cataclysmic movement that gives birth to mountains and oceans is ongoing and can still be seen at certain places on our planet. One of these is the Basin and Range region centered in Nevada and Utah.

    • 5 out of 5 stars
    • Wow.

    • By Julie on 10-12-04

    Regular price: $23.07

  • Book 2

    • In Suspect Terrain

    • Annals of the Former World, Book 2
    • By: John McPhee
    • Narrated by: Nelson Runger
    • Length: 6 hrs and 30 mins
    • Unabridged
    • Overall
      4.5 out of 5 stars 172
    • Performance
      4.5 out of 5 stars 86
    • Story
      4.5 out of 5 stars 89

    John McPhee's Pulitzer Prize-winning Annals of the Former World takes readers on mind-expanding adventures in geology. In the first book, Basin and Range, McPhee traveled to Nevada with a proponent of plate techtonics. Now, an engaging sceptic working for the United States Geological Survey is his guide to some of eastern America's most fascinating geologic formations.

    • 5 out of 5 stars
    • Wow.

    • By Julie on 10-12-04

    Regular price: $23.07

  • Book 3

    • Rising From the Plains

    • Annals of the Former World, Book 3
    • By: John McPhee
    • Narrated by: Nelson Runger
    • Length: 7 hrs and 32 mins
    • Unabridged
    • Overall
      4.5 out of 5 stars 186
    • Performance
      4.5 out of 5 stars 97
    • Story
      4.5 out of 5 stars 100

    Rising From the Plains takes McPhee to the high country of Utah along the Continental Divide. His guide is David Love, "the grand old man of Rocky Mountain geology". Helping McPhee see the physical changes that have shaped this region over millions of years, Love also traces his own family's history in this oil-rich, windswept land.

    • 5 out of 5 stars
    • Terrific Read

    • By Nancy on 11-07-04

    Regular price: $23.07

  • Book 4

    • Crossing the Craton

    • Annals of the Former World, Book 4
    • By: John McPhee
    • Narrated by: Nelson Runger
    • Length: 1 hr and 46 mins
    • Unabridged
    • Overall
      4.5 out of 5 stars 97
    • Performance
      4.5 out of 5 stars 53
    • Story
      4.5 out of 5 stars 58

    With his Pulitzer Prize-winning Annals of the Former World, John McPhee explores not only the richly varied surface of the United States, but the geological wonders hidden deep beneath our feet. In this final book of the series, he embarks on a fascinating journey across the basement of the continent - the land masses forming Illinois, Iowa, Nebraska, and thereabouts - with a professor and geochronologist acting as a guide.

    • 5 out of 5 stars
    • End of McPhee's Annals

    • By Darwin8u on 12-06-13

    Regular price: $13.97