Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Ferrell Book Recounts Little Known Battle of the Bones

THE BONE WAR OF MCCURTAIN COUNTY by Russell Ferrell.  Subtitled  A true story of two ordinary men's quest for treasure and their epic battle against extraordinary odds (Expanded edition). 2013.

After finishing the Russell Ferrell work there is an instinctive desire to mutter a loud, "wow!" A dramatic and intense story of a struggle over ownership of rare dinosaur bones (Acrocanthosaurus) found in in McCurtain County, Oklahoma it packs a wallop.  A rare, engaging work that will pull you in with as much intensity as any fictional work. Ferrell presents a tale of mythic proportions proving that truth really is stranger than fiction.  This is modern history writ not just large but in colossal dimensions.

In just over 400 pages the author has packed a story whose complexity, importance, and historical value can only be described as 'epic.' In the story of how two intelligent and capable amateurs were finally able to prevail against corporate greed,intimidation, academic short-shortsightedness, research rivalries, and worse is an important lesson for everyone. The author so completely explains the history, processes, and meaning of events that, even a reader without any knowledge of southeast Oklahoma, dinosaurs, fossil hunting, or confusions of legal and political activity- can clearly understand the struggles chronicled.

Cephis Hall and Sid Love - co-discoverers of the rare find - have to join the ranks of 20th century folk heroes. They battled the Weyerhaeuser Corporation of McCurtain County (OK), elitist academics and false accusations and raids by armed police. They fought against corruption, ignorance, and short sighted government.  As with any battle worth the effort it was not easy,it consumed the lives and best years of the main players. It ended finally, after many long and crazy years, on a positive note but also one with a strong sense of what might have been.

This is a "must have" for anyone who has a scientific bent, anyone who enjoys an exploration of the depths of human stupidity, loves a controversial topic, corporate greed, political and legal shell games, and the hint of academic snobbery. Some of the issues involved in this episode of dinosaur bone history involve hot topics from today's headlines: government intrusion, corporate favoritism, and special interest lobby influence.  This edition is expanded with additional information and it is a well written and produced softbound work from Rabelius Publishing.  Any library will be enriched by adding this title for its paleontology, Oklahoma history, twentieth century biography, and general 'good reads' collections.

ISBN: 9780983355106
Rabelius Publishing, Waxahachie, Texas.

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