A River Lost: The Life and Death of the Columbia (Revised and Updated)

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W. W. Norton & Company, Apr 2, 2012 - Nature - 288 pages
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"Superbly reported and written with clarity, insight, and great skill." —Washington Post Book World

After two decades, Washington Post journalist Blaine Harden returned to his small-town birthplace in the Pacific Northwest to follow the rise and fall of the West’s most thoroughly conquered river. To explore the Columbia River and befriend those who collaborated in its destruction, he traveled on a monstrous freight barge sailing west from Idaho to the Grand Coulee Dam, the site of the river’s harnessing for the sake of jobs, electricity, and irrigation. A River Lost is a searing personal narrative of rediscovery joined with a narrative of exploitation: of Native Americans, of endangered salmon, of nuclear waste, and of a once-wild river. Updated throughout, this edition features a new foreword and afterword.

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Blaine Harden has written a definitive book about the engineered West. It should be read by anyone interested in the history, politics and natural heritage of Eastern Washington. This is a wonderous and sobering tour of the Columbia River, a huge natural system that has been made into a machine. It is impressively researched and beautifully written.  

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About the author (2012)

Blaine Harden, an award-winning journalist, is a contributor to The Economist and a former foreign correspondent for the Washington Post. He lives in Seattle, Washington.

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