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New book, The Hunt for Life on Mars

There is a new book on the debate concerning ALH84001:  Donald Goldsmith,
The Hunt for Life on Mars, NY, Dutton, $25., ISBN 0-525-94336-6.
Goldsmith is well known for other popular level books on astronomy, and has
done a good job in relating the technical details behind the claims and
counter-claims.  The story of discovery, classification, lab work, and
announcement is well told.  He includes a good glossary, which could be
included in many meteorite books to good effect.
There are problems with the book, which I include here because any review
should be critical.  
--The preface opens the book with a scene out of a cheap tabloid, where a
presidential advisor is telling a prostitute that life has been found on Mars.
--Goldsmith places his explanations in a framework of a pretend legal
proceeding, and his metaphor of lawyers, judges, etc. is lengthy and
distracting.  He includes the notorious quote, "if the glove doesn't fit,
you must aquit" (p149), and cheapens the worthwhile parts of the book.
--Like many authors, Goldsmith (or his editors) feels that footnotes make a
book less attractive to the public, which is a major loss in a book of this
sort.  For example, on page 103 he discusses a long letter that Ed Anders
wrote to _Science_ to rebut the claims of evidence for life, but nowhere
mentions what issue the letter was in.  Such references would significantly
add to the usability of this book.  The bibliography is very brief and
mostly irrelevant.  
--Finally, only the first half of the 240 pages are about the Mars
meteorite, the rest is about life on earth, implications, and 'larger
However, it is great reading and any inaccuracies were not noticed by me.
Peter Abrahams   telscope@europa.com
the history of the telescope, the microscope,
    and the prism binocular