Daniel McCool not only chronicles the history of water
development agencies in America and the way in which special
interests have abused rather than preserved the country's rivers,
he also narrates the second, brighter act in this ongoing story:
the surging, grassroots movement to bring these rivers back to life
and ensure they remain pristine for future generations.
The culmination of ten years of research and observation,
McCool's book confirms the surprising news that America's rivers
are indeed returning to a healthier, free-flowing condition. The
politics of river restoration demonstrates how strong grassroots
movements can challenge entrenched powers and win. Through passion
and dedication, ordinary people are reclaiming the American
landscape, forming a "river republic" of concerned citizens from
all backgrounds and sectors of society. As McCool shows, the
history, culture, and fate of America is tied to its rivers, and
their restoration is a microcosm mirroring American beliefs,
livelihoods, and an increasing awareness of what two hundred years
of environmental degradation can do.
McCool profiles the individuals he calls "instigators," who
initiated the fight for these waterways and, despite enormous odds,
have succeeded in the near-impossible task of challenging and
changing the status quo. Part I of the volume recounts the history
of America's relationship to its rivers; part II describes how and
why Americans "parted" them out, destroying their essence and
diminishing their value; and part III shows how society can live in
harmony with its waterways while restoring their well-being -- and,
by extension, the well-being of those who depend on them.
Subjects: Political Science, Technology, Environmental Science
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