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Controversy in Victorian Geology:
The Cambrian-Silurian Dispute
James A. Secord

Paperback | 2014 | $61.50 / £42.95 | ISBN: 9780691605845
301 pp. | 6 x 9
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Reviews

Secord gives a dazzlingly detailed account of this scientific trench warfare and its social consequences. One ends up with a marvellous feeling for the major taxonomic enterprises in Darwin's younger day: mapping, ordering, conquering 'taming the chaos" of the strata. All of these of course had social and imperial ramifications; and Secord mentions geology's moral appeal (in supporting a divinely-stratified Creation) to a beleaguered elite intent on subduing the lower orders.

Originally published in 1990.

The Princeton Legacy Library uses the latest print-on-demand technology to again make available previously out-of-print books from the distinguished backlist of Princeton University Press. These paperback editions preserve the original texts of these important books while presenting them in durable paperback editions. The goal of the Princeton Legacy Library is to vastly increase access to the rich scholarly heritage found in the thousands of books published by Princeton University Press since its founding in 1905.

Review:

"This book aims at serious goals and achieves all of them. It provides a fundamentally new interpretation of the Cambrian-Silurian dispute based on exacting research and thoughtful interpretation. It also relates the dispute both to the general social background of British geology and to the distinctive personal experiences of Sedgwick and Murchison. Secord writes clear, vigorous prose and provides plenty of helpful illustrations. One cannot ask for more."--William Montgomery, Science

"Secord gives a dazzlingly detailed account of this scientific trench warfare and its social consequences. One ends up with a marvellous feeling for the major taxonomic enterprises in Darwin's younger day: mapping, ordering, conquering--'taming the "chaos" of the strata.' All of these of course had social and imperial ramifications; and Secord mentions geology's moral appeal (in supporting a divinely-stratified Creation) to a beleaguered lite intent on subduing the lower orders."--Adrian Desmond, London Review of Books

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    File created: 11/10/2014

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