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  Publishers Weekly Review

Everyone seems to love dinosaurs, and almost everyone loves to watch big public fights, especially when they involve piles of money, the FBI and jail. Journalist Fiffer (Three Quarters, Two Dimes and a Nickel) has therefore found the ideal topic for a short, racy nonfiction narrative, one that combines the history of a science (dinosaur paleontology) with the dramatic twists of a legal thriller. In 1990, the diligent, scrappy South Dakota fossil-hunters Sue Hendrickson and Peter Larson dug up an exceptional T. rex--only the 12th tyrannosaur ever found, and the biggest and best-preserved to date. Larson paid rancher Maurice Williams (on whose land the beast was found) $5,000 for the fossil--nicknamed "Sue"--and announced his plans to build a museum around it. Williams then said he still owned the find, while a nearby Sioux tribe claimed it did, since Sue had perhaps been unearthed from tribal land. Larson awoke to find federal agents carting away all his papers, along with his giant prize fossil--arguably jeopardizing a priceless discovery, and certainly angering nearby South Dakotans. The ensuing legal, political and scientific imbroglio set Native Americans against the federal government, the government against itself, the feds against established scientists and the world's great research universities against independent operators like Larson. Fiffer's thorough account should prove irresistible to readers with even a marginal interest in the legendary lizards--or in the less-sexy topics raised by this particular find, from Upper Midwest tribal disputes to pretrial publicity and the conduct of prosecutions. Agent, Gail Hochman. Author tour. (May) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved
Summary
Over 65 million years ago in what is now South Dakota, a Tyrannosaurus rex fell into a riverbed and died. In 1990, the skeleton was found, virtually complete, in what many call the most spectacular dinosaur fossil discovery ever. This is an account of the battles that ensued over rights to the find, involving dinosaur hunters, a federal prosecutor, and a Native American tribe, and pitting museums against corporate giants. Fiffer is a lawyer, journalist, and author. Annotation copyrighted by Book News, Inc., Portland, OR
Table of Contents
Forewordp. xi
Acknowledgmentsp. xv
Prologuep. 1
1It Must be A T. Rexp. 5
2Never, Ever for Salep. 27
3You Better Get Out Here, Petep. 47
4Taking a Howitzer to a Flyp. 65
5Who Owns Sue?p. 89
6Is a Dinosaur "Land"?p. 107
7Jurassic Farcep. 121
8You can Indict a Ham Sandwichp. 137
9Negotiations Are Under Wayp. 151
10They're Not Crimesp. 161
11I Kept Waiting for Something to Happenp. 183
12Everything Changed that Dayp. 195
13You May Approach Her Majestyp. 213
Epiloguep. 235
Indexp. 237
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