Book review : « Volcanologue »

Antoine Bouvier me fait l’honneur et l’amitié d’analyser mon livre « Volcanologue » (Éditions L’Harmattan) dans le dernier numéro (n° 48) de l’European Geologist Journal (novembre 2019), en page 68.

Consulter ce dernier numéro 48 (et voir l’analyse en page 68) sur le web :,

Toutes les précisions sur mon livre « Volcanologue » :

Voici le texte de l’analyse :

European Geologist Journal, n° 48, p. 68, November 2019

Book review by Antoine Bouvier


by Jacques-Marie Bardintzeff

Published by: Harmattan Editions, France, 180 pp, 2017 (in French)

ISBN: 978-2-343-12326-4

Volcanologue, the latest book from Jacques-Marie Bardintzeff, answers the question asked by many high school pupils and university students, wishing to avoid a professional career confined to a permanent office: what is the key for becoming a volcanologist?

Looking at Jacques-Marie’s experience, the right answer is:

*to be first of all passionately curious about science and then to work obstinately to become deeply versed in physics, chemistry and geology as taught at university colleges or engineering schools specializing in these areas (in his case, Ecole Normale Supérieure in Saint-Cloud, France);

*to participate in field discoveries and scientific analysis resulting in a higher degree in Natural Sciences, then getting a scientific research position at the Paris-Sud Orsay University while earning a Doctorate in Volcanology;

*to travel around the volcano world to meet famed volcanologists and then, as a Professor of Petrography, Volcanology and Planetary Science, to share major theoretical and practical findings with students.

Moreover, like for any unconventional profession, you need some luck during your study years:

*to be born at the foot of the Alps and close to mineral sites, having a mountain dweller and a botanist as a grandfather along with a first-rate skier for a grandmother; to be physically fit and to maintain this fitness through cycling, athletics and parachuting;

*to meet remarkable teachers – both by scholarly and human standards: Henri Vaissière (secondary school), Jean Gourc and Robert Brousse (Paris-Sud Orsay University).

The biographical elements mentioned in the book provide allot space also for information on data sampling and measurement near craters and on volcano slopes, documented through amazing photos accompanied by clear and comparative descriptions. Of course, the security risks close to an erupting volcano are obvious and the right decision needs discernment and experience.

Jacques-Marie Bardintzeff has written several books targeted at both specialists and the curious public, well as giving conference presentations in many countries with active volcanoes. These nearly always inspire a trip up to the edge of these great structures.

Easy to read for 7 to 107-year-olds, the book rivals Jules Verne’s written works in excitement.

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