The University of Wisconsin Press

Autobiography / Archaeology / Natural History / Asian Studies

Under a Lucky Star
Roy Chapman Andrews
Foreword by Charles Gallenkamp
Afterword by Ann Bausum

Selected as one of the 25 greatest science books of all time, Discover magazine

“Roy Chapman Andrews, the celebrated explorer who discovered the first velociraptor skeleton in the Gobi Desert, was also a shameless self-promoter.”
—Publishers Weekly

Under a Lucky Star is the autobiography—the lifetime of adventure—of the explorer and archaeologist Roy Chapman Andrews. Adored by the public and pursued by the press, Andrews came as close to superstar status in the 1920s as any explorer of the twentieth century. Much of Under a Lucky Star focuses on his grandest adventure, the Central Asiatic Expeditions, a series of five daring journeys into uncharted expanses of the Gobi Desert that produced a previously unknown treasure-trove of dinosaur remains. The Gobi region explored by Andrews and his team of scientists proved to be one of the most fruitful sites on earth for late dinosaurs and it continues to yield extraordinary paleontological discoveries.

“Organized under the auspices of the American Museum of Natural History and heavily financed by Wall Street titans and public donations, the Central Asiatic Expeditions were immense in scope and logistical complexity. . . . Andrews and his companions challenged the Gobi using automobiles supported by camel caravans, an audacious concept denounced by many skeptics as foolhardy if not impossible. . . . In retrospect, the Central Asiatic Explorations constituted one of the truly innovative episodes in the annals of scientific discovery.”
—from the foreword by Charles Gallenkamp, archaeologist and co-author of Dragon Hunter: Roy Chapman Andrews and the Central Asiatic Expeditions

“Andrews’ pioneering explorations in Mongolia greatly advanced science and archaeology; his life and adventures there, which Indiana Jones would envy, make this a welcome reissue of a thrilling read.”—Peter Skinner, ForeWord

Roy Chapman Andrews
(1884–1960) became fascinated with the natural world during his childhood along the Rock River in Wisconsin. After attending Beloit College, Andrews traveled to New York and asked for a job at the American Museum of Natural History, where he started as a janitor and eventually became the director of the museum.

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The cover of Under A Lucky Star

March 2013
LC: 2008928321
280 pp.   5 7/8 x 8 1/2

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Paper $20.00 t
ISBN 978-0-9835174-3-6
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ISBN 978-0-9768781-8-6
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• First publication: 1943, Viking Press

Logo of Borderland Books includes an illustration of a tree.


“Hollywood added an unlikely boost to [Roy Chapman Andrews’s] reviving fame with the creation of the daring celluloid explorer ‘Indiana Jones.’ Persistent rumors credit Andrews with serving as the real-life model for the adventurous lifestyle of the imaginary explorer Dr. Henry Jones, Jr. (The gun-toting, fedora-wearing Andrews hated snakes, too.)”
—from the afterword by Ann Bausum, author of Dragon Bones and Dinosaur Eggs: A Photobiography of Explorer Roy Chapman Andrews


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