Richard Cowen, 2004, Blackwell Publishing, Malden, 324 p. (Softcover, US $79.95) ISBN 1-4051-1756-7.

At many universities, large survey classes in geology remain a staple offering with which students can fulfill a distribution requirement in the sciences. While such courses may result in an occasional geology major, they mostly serve to expose non-scientists (i.e., the soon-to-be general public) to a discipline of which they are, at best, vaguely aware. Within the genre, courses outlining the history of life are particularly attractive because they allow a great deal of flexibility to suit an instructor's interests and expertise. Moreover, the subject can be...

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