The Bonehunters' Revenge by David Rains Wallace
Dinosaurs, Greed, and the Greatest Scientific Feud of the Gilded Age

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When dinosaur fossils were first discovered in the Wild West, they sparked one of the greatest scientific battles in American history. Over the past century it's been known by many names -- the Bone War, the Fossil Feud -- but the tragic story of the conflict between two leading paleontologists of the Gilded Age remains a prophetic tale of the conquest of the West, as well as a watershed event in science. Edward Drinker Cope was a Philadelphia Quaker from a wealthy family, an old-fashioned naturalist in the Jeffersonian tradition. Othniel Charles Marsh, a farm boy who had risen to a Yale professorship, was the model of a modern scientific entrepreneur. Opposites in personality and background as well as in political orientation and scientific beliefs, they fought over fossils as bitterly as other men fought over gold. With Indian wars swirling around them, they conducted their own personal warfare, staking out territories, employing scouts, troops, and spies. When James Gordon Bennett, the sociopathic publisher of the New York Herald, got wind of their feud, he stirred up an inferno that destroyed the lives of both men and scarred the reputations of many others, including John Wesley Powell, the director of the U.S. Geological Survey. In the aftermath, Powell's environmentally progressive ideas for limiting settlement of the West lost out to his opponents' laissez-faire boosterism, and the repercussions of the Bone War linger in many of the conflicts that rend the country today.

About David Rains Wallace

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David Rains Wallace is the author of fifteen books, including The Turquoise Dragon, The Quetzal and the Macaw, The Monkey's Bridge (a 1997 New York Times Notable Book), and The Klamath Knot,which won the Burroughs Medal in 1984. He was raised in Connecticut and graduated from Wesleyan College. He now lives in Berkeley, California.
Published October 12, 1999 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. 384 pages
Genres: History, Nature & Wildlife, Science & Math. Non-fiction

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Othniel Charles Marsh and Edward Drinker Cope were two of America's greatest 19th-century paleontologists. Together, they were responsible for unearthing and naming the vast majority of this country's

Oct 13 1999 | Read Full Review of The Bonehunters' Revenge: Din...

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Not atypical is his description of the some-time journalist who penned the first Herald article on the feud: ""a photo of Ballou, showing a sloping forehead, receding chin, shifty eyes, and strangely convoluted ears, might have come from the period's abnormal psychology textbooks."" Though the fe...

| Read Full Review of The Bonehunters' Revenge: Din...

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