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Quotes for Adventures In The Bone Trade


Karl Butzer, Univerity of Texas at Austin, 2000: "Jon Kalb spins a gripping tale of human greed, treachery and arrogance. . . . Kalb's is a fast-paced book about Africa . . . a mesmerizing continent that captivates those who pass through. A world unto its own that continues to hold secrets about our shared human history. Kalb unerringly captures the flavor of a tumultuous time and place. He opens a window on landscapes and peoples, on history and a quest for enlightenment, and on human nature and showing its foibles. He is a gifted writer, who has given us a superb read."

Bernard Wood, George Washington University, 2002: ". . . a scholarly, carefully-researched, well-written and deeply engaging book. . ."

C. Loring Brace, University of Michigan, 2002: "The details of Ethiopian history, field geology, archaeology, and paleontology   pepper the narrative but do not get in the way, and it never bogs down.  The book is well organized, thoroughly documented, and well told."

Osbjorn Pearson, University of New Mexico, 2001: "Kalb's book departs from the trend [of popular books] and presents an important, richly varied, and highly readable account of a remarkable discovery that was marred by unscrupulous ambition . . . ."

Craig Feibel, Rutgers University, 2001: "Finally, a view from the trenches . . . a superb story of the behind-the-scenes lives of those who study, firsthand, the evolution of our early ancestors and the landscape they inhabited . . . "

Terry Harrison, New York University, 2001: ". . . a wonderfully engaging personal account of how science is shaped as much by sociology, politics, and historical events as it is by important discoveries . . . "

Richard H. Benson, Smithsonian Institution, 2001: ". . . a throwback to the style of the last century . . . informative, amusing, gripping, full of expectancy and denial, replete in political chicanery . . . "

Martin Pickford, Collęge deFrance, 2003: "All in all, Adventures in the Bone Trade is a fascinating, if sobering, read about science, skulduggery, and exotic, faraway places. Is there a happy ending? No, "La luta continua!""

Jay Quede, University of Arizona, 2001: "Jon Kalb has produced a wonderfully engaging account of his seven years in Ethiopia, when he was both witness to and participated in the 1970's gold rush to discover human ancestory in Ethiopia's Afar Depression. . . . Moreover, Kalb's writing delivery is uncomplicated and humorous, making this story easy to digest, a "page-turner" as one colleague called it. This combination should make Kalb's book a breat read for scientists and layman alike. . . . My feeling is this book will stand as a key historical account of the scientific opening of the region, written by a person who shaped much of that history and witnessed firsthand most of the rest."

Russell Tuttle, University of Chicago, 2002: "Adventures in the Bone Trade is aimed at a diverse audience. It should appeal particularly to persons who are interested in exotic travelogues, eastern African geology, paleontology and prehistory, and the history of Ethiopia, especially during the revolutionary transition from the monarchy of Emperor Haile Selassie I to Marxist socialism and a Cold War alliance with the Soviet Union. . . . Kalb has the credentials to write on these topics because he lived with his young family in vicissitudinous Addis Ababa between 1971 and 1978 and conducted extensive pioneering paleoanthropological surveys in vast rugged areas of Ethiopia."

Tim White, University of California at Berkeley, 2001: "This book is a fascinating, well-crafted personal narrative . . . He showcases the best and worst of paleoanthropology, with an important take-home message about the development of Africa scholarship."

M.H. Wolpoff, University of Michigan, 2001: "Bone Trade is more than just Kalb's story; it is both a great geology text, and a chronicle of the relationship between palaeoanthropology and Ethiopia, and in it, what appeared to be good fortune for palaeoanthropology, was a misfortune for science."

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