Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Book Review: "The Piltdown Forgery"

The classic account of 'the rise and fall of Piltdown Man,' written by J.S. Weiner, one of the scientists who uncovered the great natural history hoax. This edition of The Piltdown Forgery (first published in 1953) contains a new introduction and afterword by Chris Stringer, who brings the story up to the present day. Weiner's own narrative is a readable examination of the discovery, the controversy, and the eventual undoing of the Piltdown hoax, complete with a damning indictment of those who perpetrated the act. Weiner is somewhat careful not to definitively attribute blame, although not surprisingly his suspicions centered on Charles Dawson, the "discoverer" of the remains. A worthwhile short read.