How are Dinosaurs and World War I related?

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Both are topics of some books now cheap in Kindle form.

The Dinosaur Hunters: A True Story of Scientific Rivalry and the Discovery of the Prehistoric World (Text Only Edition) by Deborah Cadbury (previously published under a different name, I think) may be a bit esoteric for some, but for a dollar-ninety-nine …

The story of two nineteenth-century scientists who revealed one of the most significant and exciting events in the natural history of this planet: the existence of dinosaurs. In `The Dinosaur Hunters’ Deborah Cadbury brilliantly recreates the remarkable story of the bitter rivalry between two men: Gideon Mantell uncovered giant bones in a Sussex quarry, became obsessed with the lost world of the reptiles and was driven to despair. Richard Owen, a brilliant anatomist, gave the extinct creatures their name and secured for himself unrivaled international acclaim.

The Guns of August: The Outbreak of World War I; Barbara W. Tuchman’s Great War Series (Modern Library 100 Best Nonfiction Books) by one of the great earlier popularizers of history Barbara Tuchman:

In this landmark, Pulitzer Prize–winning account, renowned historian Barbara W. Tuchman re-creates the first month of World War I: thirty days in the summer of 1914 that determined the course of the conflict, the century, and ultimately our present world. Beginning with the funeral of Edward VII, Tuchman traces each step that led to the inevitable clash. And inevitable it was, with all sides plotting their war for a generation. Dizzyingly comprehensive and spectacularly portrayed with her famous talent for evoking the characters of the war’s key players, Tuchman’s magnum opus is a classic for the ages.

And not on sale, but I’m putting it here because you may want to read it: All Quiet on the Western Front: A Novel by Erich Maria Remarque. If you don’t know the book, you should. Also a great movie.

Have you read the breakthrough novel of the year? When you are done with that, try:

In Search of Sungudogo by Greg Laden, now in Kindle or Paperback
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Links to books and other items on this page and elsewhere on Greg Ladens' blog may send you to Amazon, where I am a registered affiliate. As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases, which helps to fund this site.

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9 thoughts on “How are Dinosaurs and World War I related?

  1. It may not be on sale, but for $2.99 All Quiet on the Western Front (Kindle format) is a great deal. And I agree, the movie — the 1930 version, not the made for TV version — is also great.

  2. “The Dinosaur Hunters: A True Story of Scientific Rivalry and the Discovery of the Prehistoric World” is the title of my 2001 pb UK edition, it may well have been published under a different title in the US back then, for some reason the US market insists on changing titles. A minor niggle with the renaming of Patrick O’Brian’s ‘Clarissa Oaks’ to ‘The Truelove’ a part of the many volume Aubrey/Maturin collection which I heartily recommend, the thinking man’s Hornblower,

    of which E.O Wilson once said:

    ‘I haven’t read novels [in the past ten years] except for all of the Patrick O’Brian series. It was, unfortunately, like tripping on heroin. I started on those books and couldn’t stop.’

    Which is exactly how I fell into them.

    Changing titles can be a real nuisance for example when I ended up with two copies of the same book, Colin Tudge’s ‘The Secret Life of Trees: How They Live and Why They Matter’ or ‘The Tree: A Natural History of What Trees Are, How They Live, and Why They Matter’. Unfortunately the second was not recognised as the same under another title by those giving. Whatever I can recommend this book too, it provides the reasons why simply planting trees to replace those chopped down is most certainly not benign, as Carl Safin also gets to on his ‘Song for a Blue Ocean’.

    ‘The Dinosaur Hunters’ is a fine informative book and reveals that Ricrahd Owen was somewhat irascible, to put it mildly.

    For help in fixing geological time periods I discovered an excellent representation of this using a spiral in a comprehensive, lavishly illustrated volume, large format, ‘Cassell’s Atlas of Evolution: The Earth, its Landscape, and Life Forms’ which deserves an updated edition.

    I have recreated that spiral using vector graphic software, and added a tree diagram of Eons, Eras, Periods and Epochs. With further information from various sources, including Ray Pierrehumbert’s ‘Principles of Planetary Climate’ I have further split up the pre-Cambrian age.

    A geological time spiral

    ‘All Quiet on the Western Front’ is certainly worth a look as is Ernst Junger’s ‘Storm of Steel’

    When it comes to the origins of WW1 although I don’t have Tuchman (it appeared after I had purchased other recently published accounts) I have studied this area since my teens (now a septuagenarian who has served in the front line) I have collected others along the way and with the centenary of the outbreak, which no doubt prompted Tuchman, there were some new publications of interest. Rather than discuss each one I’ll present them as a collage which includes one volume of rather greater age (Lafore) and also texts that describe the machinations and rationale behind the creation of the state of Israel.

    http://lionels.orpheusweb.co.uk/MorePics6/WW1CandEf.jpg

    When it comes to the Middle East one must become aware of how that area became of imperial interest and how the territories were split up to suite the political and strategic aims of WW1’s victors with little concern for ethnic or religious boundaries and difference – hence the current mess there. For more on that, and much more hidden history, especially American I recommend Oliver Stone’s (who served in Vietnam) ‘The Untold History of the United States’ of which there is also a three volume DVD documentary set.

    1. Tuchman is a hell of a slog (at least for me,I found her style very dry) but worth every bit of time spent on it.

  3. Uh Oh. My missive went into moderation, only two links so perhaps it was length, so I split into two.

    “The Dinosaur Hunters: A True Story of Scientific Rivalry and the Discovery of the Prehistoric World” is the title of my 2001 pb UK edition, it may well have been published under a different title in the US back then, for some reason the US market insists on changing titles. A minor niggle with the renaming of Patrick O’Brian’s ‘Clarissa Oaks’ to ‘The Truelove’ a part of the many volume Aubrey/Maturin collection which I heartily recommend, the thinking man’s Hornblower,

    of which E.O Wilson once said:

    ‘I haven’t read novels [in the past ten years] except for all of the Patrick O’Brian series. It was, unfortunately, like tripping on heroin. I started on those books and couldn’t stop.’

    Which is exactly how I fell into them.

    Changing titles can be a real nuisance for example when I ended up with two copies of the same book, Colin Tudge’s ‘The Secret Life of Trees: How They Live and Why They Matter’ or ‘The Tree: A Natural History of What Trees Are, How They Live, and Why They Matter’. Unfortunately the second was not recognised as the same under another title by those giving. Whatever I can recommend this book too, it provides the reasons why simply planting trees to replace those chopped down is most certainly not benign, as Carl Safin also gets to on his ‘Song for a Blue Ocean’.

    ‘The Dinosaur Hunters’ is a fine informative book and reveals that Richard Owen was somewhat irascible, to put it mildly.

    For help in fixing geological time periods I discovered an excellent representation of this using a spiral in a comprehensive, lavishly illustrated volume, large format, ‘Cassell’s Atlas of Evolution: The Earth, its Landscape, and Life Forms’ which deserves an updated edition.

    I have recreated that spiral using vector graphic software, and added a tree diagram of Eons, Eras, Periods and Epochs. With further information from various sources, including Ray Pierrehumbert’s ‘Principles of Planetary Climate’ I have further split up the pre-Cambrian age.

    A geological time spiral

  4. Carl Safina in above.

    Part 2

    ‘All Quiet on the Western Front’ is certainly worth a look as is Ernst Junger’s ‘Storm of Steel’

    When it comes to the origins of WW1 although I don’t have Tuchman (it appeared after I had purchased other recently published accounts) I have studied this area since my teens (now a septuagenarian who has served in the front line) I have collected others along the way and with the centenary of the outbreak, which no doubt prompted Tuchman, there were some new publications of interest. Rather than discuss each one I’ll present them as a collage which includes one volume of rather greater age (Lafore) and also texts that describe the machinations and rationale behind the creation of the state of Israel.

    Books on origin of WW1 and consequences.

    When it comes to the Middle East one must become aware of how that area became of imperial interest and how the territories were split up to suite the political and strategic aims of WW1’s victors with little concern for ethnic or religious boundaries and difference – hence the current mess there. For more on that, and much more hidden history, especially American I recommend Oliver Stone’s (who served in Vietnam) ‘The Untold History of the United States’ of which there is also a three volume DVD documentary set.

    1. Lionel A: “When it comes to the Middle East one must become aware of how that area became of imperial interest and how the territories were split up to suite the political and strategic aims of WW1’s victors with little concern for ethnic or religious boundaries and difference”

      This isn’t a bad start at all:

      https://books.google.com/books/about/A_Peace_to_End_All_Peace.html?id=-DUhJ7eIyLEC

      Once you’ve gotten through the Patrick O’Brian’s novels, that is …

  5. Note: Four or more links in a post gets moderated automatically. Then it is a matter of how fast I see it to free it! This keeps down some real spam. I was 3 or more, but I changed it to 4 or more earlier today, so we’ll see how that works. Sorry for the inconvenience!

    1. ‘A Peace to End all Peace’ – sounds about right.

      For alternative theories of who engineered WW1 then try Professor Carroll Quigley and his books ‘The Anglo-American Establishment’ and ‘Tragedy and Hope’, note there are links to download PDFs.

      Once you’ve gotten through the Patrick O’Brian’s novels, that is …

      I have at least twice. The second time was a sanity saver whilst in hospital for extended period following a severe myocardial infarction leaving my heart permanently damaged and kidneys working at half speed. That was seventeen years back.

      I still have them all in my library which now includes a large section of books of the ships, men and technologies of the period from Tudor Times through to Victorian times. Currently investigating the fire power of all ships present at Trafalgar. Some interesting indicators come out of a spreadsheet when the ships of the line are listed with gun sizes and weight of shot for each deck. Some surprises came up. One British 3rd rate had a broadside of greater weight of metal than the 1st rate HMS Victory. The Spanish vessels were heavily out-gunned Santisima Trinidad notwithstanding.

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