Cadillac Desert: The American West and Its Disappearing Water, Revised Edition

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Penguin, Jun 1, 1993 - Technology & Engineering - 672 pages
16 Reviews
"The definitive work on the West's water crisis." --Newsweek

The story of the American West is the story of a relentless quest for a precious resource: water. It is a tale of rivers diverted and dammed, of political corruption and intrigue, of billion-dollar battles over water rights, of ecological and economic disaster. In his landmark book, Cadillac Desert, Marc Reisner writes of the earliest settlers, lured by the promise of paradise, and of the ruthless tactics employed by Los Angeles politicians and business interests to ensure the city's growth. He documents the bitter rivalry between two government giants, the Bureau of Reclamation and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, in the competition to transform the West. Based on more than a decade of research, Cadillac Desert is a stunning expose and a dramatic, intriguing history of the creation of an Eden--an Eden that may only be a mirage.

This edition includes a new postscript by Lawrie Mott, a former staff scientist at the Natural Resources Defense Council, that updates Western water issues over the last two decades, including the long-term impact of climate change and how the region can prepare for the future.
 

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LibraryThing Review

User Review  - amerynth - www.librarything.com

It's funny that a book all about water could be so dry. Marc Reisner has written a tome on water rights in the American West with his book "Cadillac Desert: The American West and its disappearing ... Read full review

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - dcunning11235 - LibraryThing

This is a really amazing book. Here is a history of water management and mismanagement, in sometimes minute detail, that reads like a great novel. 500 pages of dams, reservoirs, and irrigation ditches ... Read full review

Contents

INTRODUCTION
1
CHAPTER
15
CHAPTER
52
CHAPTER THREE
104
CHAPTER FOUR
120
CHAPTER FIVE
145
Rivals in Crime
169
CHAPTER SEVEN
214
CHAPTER
332
Those Who Refuse to Learn
379
CHAPTER TWELVE
435
A Civilization If You Can Keep
477
Afterword to the Revised Edition
497
Postscript to the Revised Edition
521
Notes and Bibliography
571
Index
613

The Peanut Farmer and the Pork Barrel
306

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About the author (1993)

Marc Reisner worked for many years at the Natural Resources Defense Council. In 1979, he received an Alicia J. Patterson Journalism Fellowship and began the research for Cadillac Desert. He was also the author of Game Wars: The Undercover Pursuit of Wildlife Poachers and A Dangerous Place: California's Unsettling Fate. Resisner died in 2000.

Lawrie Mott, formerly an environmental heath scientist with the Natural Resources Defense Council, lives in a Bay Area county that receives all its water from local supplies. From Marc Reisner, her late husband, she learned about water in the West at their dinner table and during long drives through western states. Mott received her B.A. from the University of California at Santa Cruz and her M.S. from Yale.

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