This delightful and comprehensive book on the world's most astonishing scenic and geological masterpiece ties together in one volume, for layman and scientist alike, the whole story of the Grand Canyon from Cambrian times to the present. The author, man of letters, essayist, philosopher and authority on the Arizona desert (The Desert Year and many other books) does not attempt the impossible task of describing the scenery of the Grand Canyon but he tells everything else about it. Forming an uncrossable barrier to plant and animal migrations the Grand Canyon, within a relatively small horizontal and a deep vertical area, presents a concise history of the geological ages of the earth and its varying life-zones. The author tells of the theories as to its origin, of its geological past, present and future, of its discovery by one of Coronado's men and of the explorers who have penetrated it, the trails leading to it, its zonal variations of climate, vegetation and plant life. He tells also of the regions around its rims and points to the lesson here shown on the peril of upsetting the balance of nature; the cougars who preyed on the deer have been exterminated and now the deer are destroying great forests, small plants and themselves. Clearly and charmingly written, the book should appeal to many readers: lovers of the Grand Canyon and the Arizona desert, tourists, conservationists, geologists, plant ecologists, and those who delight in pithy philosophical comment based on hard scientific fact. A book to be both borrowed and owned, it will form an important addition to public, college and scientific libraries.