Barnum Brown: The Man Who Discovered Tyrannosaurus rex

Overview


From his stunning discovery of Tyrannosaurus rex one hundred years ago to the dozens of other important new dinosaur species he found, Barnum Brown led a remarkable life (1873–1963), spending most of it searching for fossils—and sometimes oil—in every corner of the globe. One of the most famous scientists in the world during the middle of the twentieth century, Brown—who lived fast, dressed to the nines, gambled, drank, smoked, and was known as a ladies’ man—became as legendary as the dinosaurs he uncovered. ...
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Barnum Brown: The Man Who Discovered Tyrannosaurus rex

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Overview


From his stunning discovery of Tyrannosaurus rex one hundred years ago to the dozens of other important new dinosaur species he found, Barnum Brown led a remarkable life (1873–1963), spending most of it searching for fossils—and sometimes oil—in every corner of the globe. One of the most famous scientists in the world during the middle of the twentieth century, Brown—who lived fast, dressed to the nines, gambled, drank, smoked, and was known as a ladies’ man—became as legendary as the dinosaurs he uncovered. Barnum Brown brushes off the loose sediment to reveal the man behind the legend. Drawing on Brown’s field correspondence and unpublished notes, and on the writings of his daughter and his two wives, it discloses for the first time details about his life and travels—from his youth on the western frontier to his spying for the U.S. government under cover of his expeditions. This absorbing biography also takes full measure of Brown’s extensive scientific accomplishments, making it the definitive account of the life and times of a singular man and a superlative fossil hunter.
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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
American Museum of Natural History paleontologists Dingus and Norell recount the life of the legendary paleontologist who discovered the mighty Tyrannosaurus Rex in Montana. The authors meticulously annotate many of the hundreds of finds Barnum Brown made over his lifetime. These descriptions take on a repetitive quality, but the other aspects of the business of fossil hunting will better hold the nonspecialist's attention. Brown's interactions with local cultures as he travels from the U.S. to India, Burma, Greece, Canada, and various countries within Africa on his expeditions, his relationships with other paleontologists, and the well-integrated story of his extracurricular life, which included a stint as a spy for the OSS, all contribute to a well documented whole. Brown's story is also the story of paleontology in the first half of the 20th century, and the authors capture the excitement of the ever-expanding knowledge as it is communicated among the field's leaders, as well as the controversies that inevitably followed. Dingus and Norell do justice to the unconventional, many-faceted if somewhat mysterious Brown, aptly named after showman P.T. Barnum and to his private and public personae. 44 b&w photos; 9 maps. (June)
Discover Magazine - Jen Barone

“A rollicking recollection of Brown.”
Choice - M. A. Wilson

“It is about time someone wrote this book . . . this book tells the story very well . . . Highly recommended.”
Smithsonian.com/Dinosaur Tracking Blog - Brian Switek

“An authoritative biography of Barnum Brown has long been wanting, and the authors of the new volume have done an overall excellent job of summarizing the achievements of one of the most famous fossil hunters of all time.”
The Birdbooker Report

“The definitive account of the life and times of a singular man and a superlative fossil hunter.”
Science Blogs

“The definitive account of the life and times of a singular man and a superlative fossil hunter.”
Great Plains Research - Donald M. Henderson

“Well written.”
College & Research Libraries News

“Intriguing.”
Booklist - Gilbert Taylor

“Brown liked bonhomie, incurred woman trouble from time to time, and had a wife whose embellishments of life in the field enliven the biography . . .her letter writing and published books about subsequent digs round out this biography and indicate the public interest in “Mr. Bones” during his lifetime. Dingus and Norell ably revive that in this gap-filling scientific biography.”
Historical Biology - Darren Naish

“Comprehensive and enjoyable . . . A monumental amount of careful research, consultation with colleagues and source checking clearly went into this volume and it will stand forever as the definitive work on this most important character.”
Foreword - Claire Rudy Foster

“Occasionally, a biography strikes the perfect note . . . The exhaustive research pays off big for the reader, placing Barnum Brown in the upper ranks of well-written biographies.”
Journal Vertebrate Paleontology - Jeffrey W. Martz

“An extremely good book.”
Sacramento & San Francisco Book Revs - Jane Manaster

“A scholarly but very readable book. Brown emerges as a character one might enjoy sitting beside on a long airplane flight.”
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780520252646
  • Publisher: University of California Press
  • Publication date: 5/3/2010
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 384
  • Product dimensions: 6.48 (w) x 9.30 (h) x 1.18 (d)

Meet the Author


Lowell Dingus is Research Associate in Vertebrate Paleontology at the American Museum of Natural History in New York and the Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County. Mark A. Norell is Chair of Paleontology at the American Museum of Natural History. Together with Eugene Gaffney, Dingus and Norell coauthored Discovering Dinosaurs: Evolution, Extinction, and the Lessons of Prehistory (UC Press, winner of an American Library Association Award).
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Table of Contents


Contents
List of Illustrations
Prologue: The Mindset of Barnum Brown

1. Child of the Frontier (1873–1889)

2. Student . . . of Sorts (1889–1896)

3. Apprentice Extraordinaire (1896–1898)

4. To Land’s End: Patagonia (1898–1900)

5. To the Depths of Hell Creek (1900–1903)

6. Love (1903–1906)

7. Loss (1906–1910)

8. The Canadian Dinosaur Bone Rush (1910–1916)

9. Cuba, Abyssinia, and Other Intrigues (1916–1921)

10. Jewels from the Orient: Raj India (1921–1923)

11. Perils and Pearls Up the Irrawaddy: Burma (1923)

12. Samos: Isle of Intrigue (1923–1925)

13. Ancient Americans Hunting Bison? Birds as Dinosaurs? (1925–1931)

14. Digging—and Flying—for Dinosaurs: Howe Quarry and the Aerial Survey of Western Fossil Beds (1931–1935)

15. Toward the Golden Years: The Mystery Track-Maker and the Glen Rose Trackway (1935–1942)

16. Brown as a Spy, Movie Consultant, and Showman at the World’s Fair (1942–1963)

Epilogue

Appendix 1.
List of Major Specimens Collected by Barnum Brown on Display in the AMNH Fossil Halls
Appendix 2.
Memoirs of Barnum Brown: Discovery, Excavation and Preparation of the Type Specimen Tyrannosaurus rex

Appendix 3.
Summary of Fossil Collections by Barnum Brown and His AMNH Crews

Notes
Bibliography
Acknowledgments
Index

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