Barnum Brown: The Man Who Discovered Tyrannosaurus rex-Lowell Dingus, Mark Norell

  • Title: Barnum Brown: The Man Who Discovered Tyrannosaurus rex
  • Author: Lowell Dingus, Mark Norell
  • Released: 2010-05-03
  • Language:
  • Pages: 384
  • ISBN: 0520252640
  • ISBN13: 978-0520252646
  • ASIN: 0520252640

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From Publishers Weekly American Museum of Natural History paleontologists Dingus and Norell recount the life of the legendary paleontologist who discovered the mighty Tyrannosaurus Rex in Montana. The authors meticulously annotate many of the hundreds of finds Barnum Brown made over his lifetime. These descriptions take on a repetitive quality, but the other aspects of the business of fossil hunting will better hold the nonspecialist's attention. Brown's interactions with local cultures as he travels from the U.S. to India, Burma, Greece, Canada, and various countries within Africa on his expeditions, his relationships with other paleontologists, and the well-integrated story of his extracurricular life, which included a stint as a spy for the OSS, all contribute to a well documented whole. Brown's story is also the story of paleontology in the first half of the 20th century, and the authors capture the excitement of the ever-expanding knowledge as it is communicated among the field's leaders, as well as the controversies that inevitably followed. Dingus and Norell do justice to the unconventional, many-faceted if somewhat mysterious Brown, aptly named after showman P.T. Barnum and to his private and public personae. 44 b&w photos; 9 maps. (June)
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From The greatest dinosaur fossil collector ever—that's who Barnum Brown (1873–1963) was, according to authors Dingus and Norell, staff paleontologists at the American Museum of Natural History. Towering over visitors there is evidence of the claim: more than 50 of Brown's antediluvian specimens bestride its exhibit halls, and the authors think it's about time readers were introduced to Brown. Stretching from the 1890s to the 1940s and spanning the globe, Brown's expeditions are reconstructed by the authors from museum archives. The coverage of fund-raising efforts and outfitting lends an institutional tone to the narrative, but Brown's colorful adventures rescue it. Brown liked bonhomie, incurred woman trouble from time to time, and had a wife whose embellishments of life in the field enliven the biography. Named Lillian, she wasn't there for Brown's career-making discovery of T. rex in 1902, but her letter writing and published books about subsequent digs round out this biography and indicate the public interest in “Mr. Bones” during his lifetime. Dingus and Norell ably revive that in this gap-filling scientific biography. --Gilbert Taylor pdf