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Finding the River: An Environmental History of the Elwha Paperback – December 1, 2011


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Oregon State University Press (December 1, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0870716077
  • ISBN-13: 978-0870716072
  • Product Dimensions: 9.1 x 6.7 x 0.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 13.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (10 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #272,429 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Jeff Crane is associate professor of history at Sam Houston State University. He coedited Natural Protest: Essays on the History of American Environmentalism and his essays are published in Oregon Historical Quarterly and Columbia. He grew up exploring the Olympic Peninsula and hiking along the Elwha.

More About the Author

Jeff Crane is an associate dean at the University of the Incarnate Word in San Antonio, Texas. He trained as a historian at Washington State University and did his undergraduate work at The Evergreen State College. He has edited Natural Protest: Essays on the History of American Environmentalism with Michael Egan and is currently writing an environmental history of the United States, due out in Fall, 2014

Customer Reviews

4.3 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By J. M. Rhine on May 30, 2012
Format: Paperback
At first glance, "Finding the River" seems to be about dams and salmon and an oddly specific river in the Pacific Northwest.

However, author Jeff Crane peels back the many layers surrounding the recent removal of the Elwah and Glines Canyon dams which have starved the river of its salmon for decades. Crane uses this topic as a jumping off point for a larger discussion involving the native Klallam Indian culture, the nature and evolution of environmental discourse in America, the role of state and federal government in environmentalism, and what the restoration of the Elwah river means in a larger context of a nationwide environmental movement. Each one of these topics, Crane handles with care and is very aware of the scholarship that came before him (I say this with in mind the first chapter over the Klallam Indians and his treatment of Richard White in his conclusion).

Through his meticulous and careful writing, Crane successfully infuses the topics of river restoration and environmentalism with subtlety and nuance. I highly recommend this book to anyone who has read William Cronen's "Changes in the Land" or anyone who is interested in environmental history or ecology.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Eman on February 26, 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
A great book. Well written and well documented historical review of eviromental impacts of society on the Elwha river and the area.

Book arrived quickly in great condition.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Tom Sickler on February 10, 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
We enjoyed reading about the local history and reflecting on some of the information we already new. Fun to compare our old pics with some of the books information.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Norman G. Gallacci on October 18, 2012
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
The book was outstanding, detailling the history of the Elwha River. I grew up near the Elwha and spent many days there in my youth. A lot of the book brought forth history and facts i did not know. thank you...
Norman
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Andrew J Lopenzina on July 22, 2012
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This book offers a narrative of the Elwha, to most of us a little known river that runs through the Olympia National Park in Washington State, focusing on the battles that have been fought over the last one-hundred and fifty years to first harness its potential power and, more recently, to attempt to restore the river to its original purpose. The work is surprisingly timely, given that the author could not have known when he began the project that the two major dams on the Elwha would finally come down in 2011 after decades of struggle. But the story of how this came about, the various factions that collided and the many different peoples and natural resources affected by its history is fascinating and instructive with implications for communities throughout the US. Crane builds a narrative that includes the Klallam Natives who continue to claim the land and the resources of the river as their special provenance, nineteenth-century entrepreneurs and progressives who viewed the river as an "organic machine," early environmental movement leaders, factory mill operators and their blue collar employees, and not least of all, the salmon themselves who depend upon the natural flow of the river to maintain their complex spawning cycles. Given that this is an environmental history, it should come as little surprise that Crane stands in support of the river restoration project, but his balanced portrayal of the various parties involved will be illuminating to anyone concerned about the question of hydro-electric dams and their impact on the land. I was surprised to learn just how far back some of these battles go.Read more ›
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