The teeming and wildly competitive world of the sand flats is seen in terms of history, politics, ethics, and sociology; a starfish is important, not only because it is a new variety, but because it is essential to the delicate balance of the whole region in which it is found. Steinbeck and Ricketts are the opposite of “pure” scientists: it is not only their work that fascinates them, but the complicated and enormously exciting implications of that work.
Sea of Cortez is a book to be read and remembered on two levels. It is a journey through a remote and beautiful corner of the world, a diary filled with the daily excitements and triumphs of skillful and energetic men. It is also an invitation to see the world anew from a fresh vantage point and perhaps with a broader and more understanding spirit.