The Swamp: The Everglades, Florida, and the Politics of Paradise
The Everglades was once reviled as a liquid wasteland, and Americans dreamed of draining it. Now it is revered as a national treasure, and Americans have launched the largest environmental project in history to try to save it. The Swamp is the stunning story of the destruction and possible resurrection of the Everglades, the saga of man's abuse of nature in southern Florida and his unprecedented efforts to make amends. Michael Grunwald, a prize-winning national reporter for The Washington Post, takes readers on a riveting journey from the Ice Ages to the present, illuminating the natural, social and political history of one of America's most beguiling but least understood patches of land.
The Everglades was America's last frontier, a wild country long after the West was won. Grunwald chronicles how a series of visionaries tried to drain and "reclaim" it, and how Mother Nature refused to bend to their will; in the most harrowing tale, a 1928 hurricane drowned 2,500 people in the Everglades. But the Army Corps of Engineers finally tamed the beast with levees and canals, converting half the Everglades into sprawling suburbs and sugar plantations. And though the southern Everglades was preserved as a national park, it soon deteriorated into an ecological mess. The River of Grass stopped flowing, and 90 percent of its wading birds vanished.
Now America wants its swamp back. Grunwald shows how a new breed of visionaries transformed Everglades politics, producing the $8 billion rescue plan. That plan is already the blueprint for a new worldwide era of ecosystem restoration. And this book is a cautionary tale for that era. Through gripping narrative and dogged reporting, Grunwald shows how the Everglades is still threatened by the same hubris, greed and well-intentioned folly that led to its decline.
Michael Grunwald is a reporter at The Washington Post. He has won the George Polk Award for national reporting, the Worth Bingham Prize for investigative reporting, and many other awards. He lives in Miami with his wife, Cristina Dominguez.
Visit his website at www.michaelgrunwald.com.
What people are saying - Write a review
Review: The Swamp: The Everglades, Florida, and the Politics of ParadiseUser Review - David W. - Goodreads
This is one of the most comprehensive Florida histories that I have read. Wonderfully researched and a super read. It's a good reference book as well as a must read for Floridians. Read full review
Review: The Swamp: The Everglades, Florida, and the Politics of ParadiseUser Review - Eileen - Goodreads
Picked this up while on a trip to Florida in January. It's a welcome historical, political, anthropological account of the Everglades. I'm only a couple of chapters in but I've already learned a great deal. Very enjoyable, good writing, good reading. Read full review
Introduction A Treasure for Our Country
Part One The Natural Everglades 1 Grassy Water
A New Vision
Drainage Gets Railroaded
Part Two Draining the Everglades 6 The Reclamation of a Kingly Domain
The Father of South Florida
Taming the Everglades
Part Three Restoring the Everglades 14 Making Peace with Nature
Repairing the Everglades
Something in the Water
Something for Everyone
Epilogue The Future of the Everglades
The Everglades Experiments: Lessons for Ecosystem Restoration
Limited preview - 2008