The so-called “Bone Wars” of the 1880s, which pitted Edward Drinker Cope against Othniel Charles Marsh in a frenzy of fossil collection and discovery, may have marked the introduction of dinosaurs to the American public, but the second Jurassic dinosaur rush, which took place around the turn of the twentieth century, brought the prehistoric beasts back to life. These later expeditions—which involved new competitors hailing from leading natural history museums in New York, Chicago, and Pittsburgh—yielded specimens that would be reconstructed into the colossal skeletons that thrill visitors today in museum halls across the country.
Reconsidering the fossil speculation, the museum displays, and the media frenzy that ushered dinosaurs into the American public consciousness, Paul Brinkman takes us back to the birth of dinomania, the modern obsession with all things Jurassic. Featuring engaging and colorful personalities and motivations both altruistic and ignoble, The Second Jurassic Dinosaur Rush shows that these later expeditions were just as foundational—if not more so—to the establishment of paleontology and the budding collections of museums than the more famous Cope and Marsh treks. With adventure, intrigue, and rivalry, this is science at its most swashbuckling.