Mountains that Remade America

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For those who come hoping to see material related to the Grumpy Geophysicist’s trade book on the Sierra Nevada, The Mountains that Remade America, here are a few quick pointers. The paperback version came out in February 2020.

The book is available through many online outlets (UC Press, Amazon, Barnes & Noble–even Walmart (?!)) and even a few physical bookstores (like the Eastern Sierra Visitor Center in Lone Pine and the Mono Lake Committee’s bookstore, which doesn’t list most of their books online).

There is a post on the Transcontinental Railroad and road oddities post that didn’t make the book, a few posts on geology of the Sierra that are more technical or detailed than what is in the book (like here and here and here and here) and some on more topical aspects of the Sierra (like this one or this or this) or even a few sort of humorous things. Clicking on that “Sierra Nevada” link off to the left will get you lots of these.

And from outside this site, there is a blog entry GG wrote back at UC Press for Earth Day; a short excerpt from the book is also posted there.

What’s in the book? Stuff like how easy or hard it was to cross the Sierra and why, how the uniqueness of Sierran gold made for profound social impacts, the start of national parks in Yosemite, the redefinition of wilderness caused by the granites of the High Sierra, the Mineral King story and its impacts, and a bit on the 1903 High Sierra trip of the Sierra Club. Along the way are explorations of the geology defining these, leading up to a discussion of the evolution of the range and an illustration of just how earth science operates. Chapters are listed here along with connections to chapters of an intro geology text, if anybody is brave enough to use this in a classroom (it is not written as a classroom text!).

Some errata and additional information is listed on a separate webpage.

One response to “Mountains that Remade America”

  1. Pat brogan says :

    Just saw your book ad in sierra magazine and your speaking tour. I love to have you talk to our Yosemite hiking sierra club group of percjance you can fit it in while in CA. We meet in groveland (25 miles from 120 entrance in pine mountain lake) and hike every Thursday in the park. We also have another group that would be interested-that hikes out of sonora. Together the groups are over 200 hikers. Happy to offer housing!
    Pat brogan
    (phone removed)


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