A gripping narrative of a fearless paleontologist, the founding of America’s most loved museums, and the race to find the largest dinosaurs on record.
In the dust of the Gilded Age Bone Wars, two vastly different men emerge with a mission to fill the empty halls of New York’s struggling American Museum of Natural History: Henry Fairfield Osborn, a privileged socialite whose reputation rests on the museum’s success, and intrepid Kansas-born fossil hunter Barnum Brown.
When Brown unearths the first Tyrannosaurus Rex fossils in the Montana wilderness, forever changing the world of paleontology, Osborn sees a path to save his museum from irrelevancy. With four-foot-long jaws capable of crushing the bones of its prey and hips that powered the animal to run at speeds of 25 miles per hour, the T. Rex suggests a prehistoric ecosystem more complex than anyone imagined. As the public turns out in droves to cower before this bone-chilling giant of the past and wonder at the mysteries of its disappearance, Brown and Osborn together turn dinosaurs from a biological oddity into a beloved part of culture.
Vivid and engaging, The Monster’s Bones journeys from prehistory to present day, from remote Patagonia to the unforgiving badlands of the American West to the penthouses of Manhattan. With a wide-ranging cast of robber barons, eugenicists, and opportunistic cowboys, New York Times best-selling author David K. Randall reveals how a monster of a bygone era ignited a new understanding of our planet and our place within it.
Prologue: The Center of the World
Chapter 1. A Life That Could Contain Him
Chapter 2. A World Previous to Ours
Chapter 3. Scraping the Surface
Chapter 4. Creatures Equally Colossal and Equally Strange
Chapter 7. Finding a Place in the World
Chapter 8. The Uttermost Part of the Earth
Chapter 10. A Very Costly Season
Chapter 11. The Bones of the King
Chapter 13. The Hardest Work He Could Find
Chapter 15. The Monster Unveiled
Epilogue: The Monster’s Tracks