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Winner of the 2002 Spur Award for Best Western Nonfiction - Contemporary
Less than one hundred years ago, Diplodocus carnegiinamed after industrialist and philanthropist Andrew Carnegiewas the most famous dinosaur on the planet. The most complete fossil skeleton unearthed to date, and one of the largest dinosaurs ever discovered, Diplodocus was displayed in a dozen museums around the world and viewed by millions of people.
Bone Wars explains how a fossil unearthed in the badlands of Wyoming in 1899 helped give birth to the public’s fascination with prehistoric beasts. Rea also traces the evolution of scientific thought regarding dinosaurs, and reveals the double-crosses and behind-the-scenes deals that marked the early years of bone hunting.
With the help of letters found in scattered archives, Tom Rea recreates a remarkable story of hubris, hope, and turn-of-the-century science. He focuses on the roles of five men: Wyoming fossil hunter Bill Reed; paleontologists Jacob Wortmanin charge of the expedition that discovered Mr. Carnegie’s dinosaurand John Bell Hatcher; William Holland, imperious director of the recently founded Carnegie Museum; and Carnegie himself, smitten with the colossal animals after reading a newspaper story in the New York Journal and Advertiser.
What emerges is the picture of an era reminiscent of today: technology advancing by leaps and bounds; the press happy to sensationalize anything that turned up; huge amounts of capital ending up in the hands of a small number of people; and some devoted individuals placing honest research above personal gain.
|Publisher:||University of Pittsburgh Press|
|Product dimensions:||6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x 0.80(d)|
About the Author
Tom Rea, who grew up in Pittsburgh admiring the dinosaurs at the Carnegie Museum of Natural History, lives in Casper, Wyoming, with his family. Now a freelance writer, for a dozen years he covered politics, education, and science for the Casper Star-Tribune, Wyoming’s largest newspaper.
Table of Contents
|2.||The Freehearted Frontier Hunter||12|
|3.||The Most Colossal Animal||29|
|4.||Culture in the Iron City||42|
|5.||A Lizard in Wyoming Politics||52|
|6.||Uncle Sam's Land||59|
|7.||Hewn into Fragments||68|
|8.||Some Good Luck at Last||87|
|9.||The Ample Fossil Fields||99|
|10.||Noble Champions of Truth||118|
|12.||No More Reeds, No More Wortmans||135|
|14.||When the Flag Drops||158|
|15.||Heads and Tails||179|
What People are Saying About This
Bone Wars makes for interesting reading-a book carefully researched and composed in the exact prose of a journalist-a story about great figures who walked the earth, and what became of them-a story, in the end, about boneheads and brilliant men. author of Plainsong
A lively, perceptive account of just how much more there was to the 'heroic age' of dinosaur hunting than simply finding and identifying bones. Anyone who wants to understand paleontology and the sensational present-day conflicts over fossil resources should read it. author of The Bonehunters Revenge
Finally! A break from the usual story about Marsh and Cope. A long overdue look at Andrew Carnegie's dinosaur, which made 'dinosaur' a popular word all over the world. Denver Museum of Natural History