cover Life Before Man
By the Editors of Time-Life Books

This book was the first volume of the "Emergence of Man" series from Time-Life Books.  The book has five
chapters, written by four different T-L science writers.  Unfortunately the chapters do not flow together well
and there is little sense of cohesion.  The list of consultants on this book is impressive, including A.W. Crompton,
Robert Bakker, John Ostrom, and others.  I remember ordering this book from an advertisement in a magazine
and anxiously awaiting its arrival.  I was somewhat disappointed when it finely came--I was hoping for
something better.  Nevertheless, this book marks a milestone, as it was perhaps the first popular book on
prehistoric life which incorporated the "dinosaur renaissance" views of paleontologists Robert Bakker and John
Ostrom.  That is, dinosaurs are portrayed as dynamic animals, rather than lethargic tail-dragging reptiles.  For this
reason, "Life Before Man" is chronologically the last prehistoric animal book described on this website.


There are several nice illustrations of Dinosaurs by the artist Burt Silverman included in the book, but how did
Ostrom, Bakker, and the other consultants let this one slip through?  A bipedal Stegosaurus with horizontally
oriented triangular plates?  There is also an illustration in the book of a Deinonychus attacking a Tenontosaurus. 
To my knowledge, this one of the first times that an illustration of Deinonychus appeared in a popular book.