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Books on Natural History - Reviews 

The Golden Bough: A Study in Magic and Religion by James A. Frazer 
St. Martin's Press has for some time now accepted the noble mission of keeping Frazer's (1854-1941) seminal work (essentially a transhistoric, comparative anthropology of folklore, magic, and religion) before the public in the complete and original form of its third edition (originally published in London by Macmillan, 1911-1915), rather than the ubiquitous abridgments which debase both the subject and the author's magisterial command of his materials and his art. Contrary to opinion from some corners, this is no relic--in the complete form presented here, it is nothing less than a window through which the modern world can watch its own emergence--a work worthy of the company of, say, Marx and Freud.  Which makes the publication on acidic paper an egregious error--depriving the account of the endurance it deserves.  -- (RC) Annotation copyright Book News, Inc. Portland, Or.

Forbidden Archeology: The Hidden History of the Human Race 
by Michael A. Cremo, Richard L. Thompson 
Over the past two centuries, researchers have found bones and artifacts showing humans like us existed millions of years ago. But mainstream science has suppressed these facts. Prejudices based on current scientific theory have acted as what Michael A. Cremo and Richard L. Thompson call a knowledge filter.  According to Cremo and Thompson, we have thus come to accept a picture of prehistory that is largely incorrect. Forbidden Archeology is a call for a change in today's rigid scientific mindset. Bringing to light a great number of long hidden facts, Cremo and Thompson challenge us to rethink our understanding of human origins and the accepted methods of science itself.  -- Synopsis

Maps of the Ancient Sea Kings: Evidence of Advanced Civilization in the Ice Age  by Charles H. Hapgood 
The discovery of an ancient map in Turkey, upon which Christopher Columbus was said to have relied, turns out to show the coastlines of Antarctica and Greenland in such exact detail that the maps must have been created (1) thousands of years ago, at least 5000 or more, before the two island continents were covered with ice, (2) by a sea-faring people with the ability to measure longitude, which was recently "discovered" in the 1700s, trigonometric skills, and other non-obvious mathematical know-how.  In short, proof that there were ancient peoples that knew a great deal more than was passed down through the ages. A straightforward telling of how Hapgood and his students pieced together the evidence for the existence of ancient civilization, based on the ancient maps they could locate.  -- Reader Comment,
How to Read Egyptian Hieroglyphs: A Step-By-Step Guide to Teach Yourself by Mark Collier, Bill Manley, Richard Parkinson (Illustrator) 
Egyptologists Collier and Manley use attractive drawings of actual inscriptions displayed in the British Museum to teach a basic course in reading hieroglyphs. Includes practical exercises. 200 illustrations.  -- Synopsis,
Arrowheads & Stone Artifacts: A Practical Guide for the Surface Collector and Amateur Archaeologist by C. G. Yeager 
The bestselling guide to finding and collecting Arrowheads! 
In this "practical guide for the Surface Collector and Amateur Archaeologist" informative and easy-to-read chapters cover everything from the best places to look for arrowheads and other artifacts to identifying the various types found throughout the country.  -- The Publisher
The Big Book of Dinosaurs: A First Book for Young Children 
by Angela Wilkes 
For Ages 4-7. This could be called The Really Big Book of Dinosaurs since this oversize volume is as awesome as the animals it showcases. The big, handsome photographs and drawings are just right for kid appeal. Full-color models and art are set up like a reptile family album on two-page spreads that feature armored dinosaurs, meat eaters, the biggest on earth, and the fast and fierce, to name a few. 
The text is simple--just an introductory sketch really. There's at least one interactive question per chapter to entice young readers to think and question. The usual dinosaurs are included (Tyrannosaurus, Stegosaurus) and the not so usual (Tuojangosaurus, Scelidosaurus). If you can make room on your shelves for one more dinosaur book, this might be a big item with little readers and viewers. 
-- Denia Hester, Booklist,  Copyright© 1994, American Library Association. All rights reserved 
The Complete Dinosaur by James O. Farlow (Editor), M.K.Brett-Surman (Editor) 
The 40-plus chapters in The Complete Dinosaur range from raw, cutting-edge science that drips with original data to surveys of the history of dinosaur collecting that are suitable for even the most jargon-shy readers. Editors James O. Farlow and M. K. Brett-Surman admit that they were "teenage geeks who loved the movies of Willis O'Brien, Ray Harryhausen, and Jim Danforth, and the novels of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle and Edgar Rice Burroughs," and they do not neglect their roots. There are chapters covering all the hot topics of contemporary dinosaur research, including footprints, metabolism, and meteor strikes; there is also a section on determining how many lawyers you need to feed a captive Tyrannosaurus rex. It's a remarkable fusion between scientific research--warts, conflicts, and all--and public understanding.  -- Science Editor's Recommended Book,
The Complete Idiot's Guide to Dinosaurs by Jay Stevenson, George R. McGhee, Kevin Padian 
With up-to-date, non-technical insights into the many different species of dinosaurs and details on their physical characteristics, eating habits, and reproductive systems, this fascinating book also takes readers into the realities of DNA testing, cloning, and theories of extinction. 
Crystals and Crystal Growing by Alan Holden, Phylis Morrison (Photographer) 
This book discusses crystallography along with crystal formation. The recipes for growing crystals are not "kitchen chemistry", but use chemicals that are a little more difficult to get. The process of growing the solids is well described and results in astonishingly beautiful crystals. High school and up.  -- Reader Comment,
A Short History of Planet Earth: Mountains, Mammals, Fire and Ice 
by J. D. MacDougall 
This survey of four and a half billion years of Earth's past is a splendid introduction to geology and paleontology for the lay reader. Macdougall, a professor of earth science at the Scripps Oceanographic Institution (UC-San Diego), takes us step-by-step through the geologic time scale. Clues to the past lie in rocks, in oxygen isotopes and on the ocean floor. Macdougall traces the rise of continents and the origins of life in each era. He discusses tectonic plates, the major extinctions and their probable causes, climate and the Ice Ages, and he speculates on the future of our planet. To compress Earth's history into a single, lucidly written volume is a major achievement. -- Publisher's Weekly 
National Audubon Society Field Guide to North American Rocks and Minerals by Charles Wesley Chesterman 
Perfect for mountain climbers and hikers, this valuable reference covers more rocks and minerals in North America than any other available guide. 794 full-color photographs depict all the important rocks, gems, and minerals -- in many variations of color and crystal form -- and the natural environments in which they occur; written descriptions provide information on field marks, similar rocks and minerals, environment, areas of occurrence, and derivation of names. Includes a guide to mineral collecting and a list of rock-forming minerals. -- 
The Nature of Diamonds by George E. Harlow (Editor), American Museum of Natural History 
The paragon of physical perfection and a sparkling example of Earth's forces at work, the diamond has fascinated all realms of society, from starlets to scientists. The Nature of Diamonds provides a comprehensive history of this most coveted of all gems, complete with more than 200 photos, 150 in full color.  --
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