Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Book Review: Intrepid Explorer: The Autobiography of the World's Best Mine Finder

Intrepid Explorer: The Autobiography of the World's Best Mine Finder, by J. David Lowell

496 pages, Published by Sentinel Peak Press, University of Arizona, 2014

J. David Lowell is a hero directly out of Ayn Rand's Atlas Shrugged, but in real life.  This little promoted book is an inspirational account of a life built on the American dream, a questioning and active mind, physical courage and achievement that enriched the entire world.  The book is a true life adventure novel.  It was hard to put down.  I read longer into the night than I should have.

It was impossible for me to read the book without a sense of sorrow for the freedoms that the United States has lost over the lifetime of the author.  David was born in 1928.   As a child, he recalled his father buying dynamite at the local hardware store, and loading it into their truck.  Safety was assured by keeping the blasting caps on the side of the truck away from the dynamite.  You could legally buy explosives over the counter in Arizona into the 1990's.

Crossing the border with firearms was not a huge problem.  David and his new wife transported firearms down to Mexico without a hitch or question.  While guns are not a central theme in the book, it is clear that they have often been an everyday working tool for David Lowell.  Hunting was his primary recreation at his first job as a mining engineer in Mexico.  He was a member of his college rifle team, and later in life, he shot a marauding mountain lion with a .357 Smith & Wesson revolver.

The central thesis in the book is how David Lowell created great wealth for the world with his mind and courage.  He was able to understand and, importantly, act, on the information that he perceived, to convert useless rock into enormous wealth.  He became wealthy in the process, but his wealth was but a tiny fraction of the wealth that he created for the world.  Make no mistake, in spite of David Lowell characterising himself as a "Treasure Finder", he created the wealth.  It was his knowledge, ability, drive, and organization that turned useless rock into valuable ore and metal to keep our industrial civilization going.

What were David's primary enemies?  Ignorance, stupidity, corruption, fraud, and irrational bureaucracy.   Physical danger, while significant, was a smaller obstacle to overcome.  Fortunately for the world, David's several brushes with death were near misses.

Disclaimer: I have a degree in mining engineering, was on my college pistol team, worked in a military bureaucracy for 30 years, and own a couple of mining properties.

If you wish to read an inspirational true story about how giants among us create wealth for all, read this book.

Link to Amazon page for the book

©2015 by Dean Weingarten: Permission to share is granted when this notice and link are included.
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