The Myth Of Solid Ground

Genre: Nonfiction; Author: David L. Ulin

Being frail mortals, we tend to look for reason or explanation in seemingly random, destructive forces. Such is the case with earthquakes: What we once thought were the movements of some restless giant animals we now attribute to the (more plausible, but much less imaginative) displacement of massive subterranean plates. Ulin’s Ground offers an engaging survey of modern earthquake science, a ”constantly shifting middle ground between research and folklore, legend and fact,” and places it in the context of the loopy denial mechanism at work in most Californians’ ”If we don’t think about it, we’ll never have to face the Big One” attitude. This smart and engaging book will make you think twice about the ground beneath your feet.

Originally posted July 23 2004 — 12:00 AM EDT

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