Acrocanthosaurus: The Bones of Contention, True Story of Cephis Hall and Sid Love, The Arkansas Hillbilly and the Choctaw Indian Who Outsmarted the Corporation and Saved the Dinosaur

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Acrocanthosaurus: The Bones of Contention, True Story of Cephis Hall and Sid Love, The Arkansas Hillbilly and the Choctaw Indian Who Outsmarted the Corporation and Saved the Dinosaur is most certainly one of the lengthiest titles I have ever heard. However, this story is as rich and as full as its title. The extraordinary lives of Cephis Hall and Sid Love presented by Ferrell is a thorough account of their experiences, struggles, and obstacles encountered as they set out to unearth the fossil remains of one of the largest bipedal theropods living in the early Cretaceous period.

One of the foremost conflicts to take place was the private land rights of the corporate-owned land by Weyerhaeuser, one of American’s most wealthy corporations, and the battle for the “bones,” thus, became a legal issue. Interestingly, until reading this story, I never realized that there was a window of time in which excavated bones must be treated, else they deteriorate and subsequently disintegrate. Despite the obstacles, Hall and Love were able to complete their excavation and have the bones treated and casted barely in a timely fashion as they struggled for their legal right to the bones they found.

Ferrell, as a writer of historical non-fiction, truly does a remarkable job in making this story not only informative, but educational and entertaining as well. His writing style is quite unique and makes for a most interesting read. Although the vastness of the material presented, at times, could be a little overwhelming, the focus of the story is never lost and is presented in such a way that maintains the reader’s interest. It is truly a remarkable story. “The story of Cephis Hall and Sid Love represents a rare instance in history when two “little guys” defeated giants.”

These men faced immense obstacles, yet they never gave in or gave up. Their unique and extraordinary lives are a living testimony of ethics and morality for the everyday man. Despite the power of the corporate world and its influence, one thing is clear. Money can never take the place of hard work, as evidenced by the lives and careers of these amateur paleontologists. “The mounted dinosaur case of the Acrocanthosaurus now adorning the halls and galleries of some of the best museums in America is a testament to that hard, enduring labor that was expended in pursuit of their dream.”


Reviewed By:

Author Russell Ferrell
Star Count 5/5
Format Trade
Page Count 448 pages
Publisher Historical Dimensions
Publish Date 04-Oct-2011
ISBN 9780615413365
Amazon Buy this Book
Issue February 2012
Category History
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