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Cadillac Desert, Revised and Updated Edition

The American West and Its Disappearing Water
Narrated by: Joe Spieler, Kate Udall
Length: 27 hrs and 58 mins
4.5 out of 5 stars (107 ratings)
Regular price: $31.47
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Publisher's Summary

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 corruptions and intrigue, of billion-dollar battles over water rights, of ecologic and economic disaster. In 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 US Army Corps of Engineers, in the competition to transform the West.

Based on more than a decade of research, Cadillac Desert is a stunning exposé and a dramatic, intriguing history of the creation of Eden - an Eden that may be only a mirage.

©2018 Blackstone Audio, Inc. (P)2018 Blackstone Audio, Inc.

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

quintessential history of the West

this book was recommended to me Years Ago by my grandfather who lives in California. at the time I wasn't particularly interested years later I discovered this book after listening to Jared Diamonds collapse book. water as the primary subject matter of this book is incredibly important to Human Society, this particular book should be included as part of any High School American history class. though from time to time the subject matter does fieldron out and potentially over detailed it does adequately emphasize the political maneuvering corruption and subsequent growth of the American West in particular the stories of LA and how it came to acquire its water rights were very interesting from a non Californians perspective. highly recommend this book changes how you see water coming out of the tap

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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Required reading for anyone who consumes water

Would you consider the audio edition of Cadillac Desert, Revised and Updated Edition to be better than the print version?

The updated version is important and brings us up to date on water policy, all the way into 2018. Changes since the 1980s when 1st published and then again after being revised in the 1990s make this a book that needs to be read and pondered (or listened to) again.

What did you like best about this story?

The book discusses government and political involvement in water policy from the time of the first damming of rivers and usage of groundwater in the US. It continues to discuss the future consequences.

What do you think the narrator could have done better?

The book skips around a bit in time. I would like for it to be a bit more chronological

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Stunning information and realization

My actions are forever changed relative to conservation living in the American West. Thank You Marc for your effort to put this exhaustive research together in a sensible manner for the common citizen to realize we can make a small difference in our dialing living. How do we proliferate this into the mainstream?

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A riveting and important read

This book is a riveting and important telling of the history of water use and management in the US West, from the oldest history to current time (2017-2018). And, yes, it is absolutely riveting! It is a tail of amazing engineering and political expertise, put to bazaar use for both good and bad. The narrator finds every nuance of intrigue, outrage, and awe, making this book which might have been hard to struggle through, instead be a thrilling must read/listen.

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Great book, hard to finish

The narrator's voice and narrative style made it very difficult to get through this book. His voice and delivery reminded me of a dry, boring history lesson. I read this book in the 90's and was looking forward to hearing the updated version.

Having grown up in California, LA area til I was 4, next 45 years in Northern California Sierra Nevada foothills, I understand the issues addressed in the book. As a teen and young adult I had to deal with the neighboring City drilling deeper wells to support their town, leaving our wells dry. I support Northern California splitting from southern and letting LA and that area fend for themselves. they're been stealing water for far too long. Water and the related conflicts have created some of the political problems that CA have and now insist on inflicting on the rest of us. I finally had to leave the state because of the inept, incompetent government and after this book, I've discovered that most of their problems are caused by water, or the lack of it.

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Oceanic perspective of water in the west, but too detailed

Listening to the book on a 3,000-mile drive through the west and southwest was a perfect companion. Suddenly the miles of irrigated fields in the CA Central Valley, Hoover Dam, and Lake Powell seemed less like miracles and more like pork barrel projects that doom the environment to make a few farmers rich. Learning we’ve ruined nearly all the free-flowing rivers west of Nebraska to send 80% of the water to irrigate alfalfa fields of a few multinational companies was a sobering truth.

But the political detail Reisner goes into regarding dams in the 50s and 60s is mind-numbing. While glossing over interesting details of the size & scope of water projects like the Los Angeles aqueduct and the Colorado River dams, he describes the color of the rug in the office of Bureau of Reclamation’s chief (Floyd Dominy) and names every politician who ever voted on a dam project. The book could have been 50% shorter and still gotten across the same point: politics and money drove dam projects in the 50s and 60s.

The 2017 addendum was a great follow up for a book largely finished in 1984. It reveals some of the predictions have held true, but others have not, but there are still many things to be improved. That we have actually started to remove a few of the dams he describes earlier is a ray of hope in an otherwise depressing story.

The narrator for most of the book was decent, but his slow, soft drawl was hard to understand. Listening at 1.25x speed finally made him sound almost normal, but the timbre of his voice was still too rough and scratchy.

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Must read text to understand western US history.

This book is a complete history to water management in the USA. I am very glad I listen to this book.

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awesome book<br />

been waiting for this book to come out on audible for a few years now I give it a 5 star rating only because I can't give it a 6 star awesome book tones of info.

0 of 1 people found this review helpful