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Publisher's Summary

In this fresh and powerful work of environmental history, Martin Doyle explores how rivers have often been the source of arguments at the heart of the American experiment - over federalism, taxation, regulation, conservation, and development. Doyle tells the epic story of America and its rivers, from the US Constitution's roots in interstate river navigation, the origins of the Army Corps of Engineers, the discovery of gold in 1848, and the construction of the Hoover Dam and the TVA during the New Deal, to the failure of the levees in Hurricane Katrina. And through encounters with experts all over the country - a Mississippi River tugboat captain, an Erie Canal lock operator, a western rancher fighting for water rights - Doyle reveals how we've dammed, raised, rerouted, channelized, and even "re-meandered" our rivers.

©2018 Martin Doyle (P)2018 HighBridge, a division of Recorded Books

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

Ah, now I understand...that makes sense

I found myself muttering to myself as I listened/read this book, "Oh, that makes sense!". Very well put together explanation of the power that rivers played in the development of America. Written in a compelling way, and narrated with skill. Highly recommend this book and recording.

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So much to cover

I appreciated this book, but left me wanting more. Not the fault of the author just that our rivers are so important in a variety of ways. History, health, environment, transportation etc. my only suggestion would be a bit more on the water cycle, including ground water

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Great historical read without compare.

This is an excellent read that is well researched and easily understood. I purchased the audio book as well and the narrator was particularly easy to listen to. While the author packs in the history of river development and it's enormous role in the development of the United States, the reader is brought along on a journey that feels exciting as it flows from past to present. Their are parts of this book that I will reread and highlight for faster referencing in the future. If you are interested in history, rivers, water management, the envirnoment and economics, I recommend this book.

1 of 2 people found this review helpful