This is the latest in a string of geological biographies and autobiographies that I’ve had the pleasure to review on these pages. Much is to be learned from the careers (with their successes and failures) of those who went before us across the geological and mineralogical stage. Beware, however, for increasingly such books must be viewed as historical documents rather than professional guides for young Earth scientists of the 21st century. The Earth sciences are changing profoundly and rapidly. This is particularly true for geology, which increasingly is “developing” into a sedentary indoor science. I shall return to this...

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