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A River Lost: The Life and Death of the Columbia (Revised and Updated) Paperback – April 2, 2012

ISBN-13: 978-0393342567 ISBN-10: 0393342565 Edition: Revised and Updated

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A River Lost: The Life and Death of the Columbia (Revised and Updated) + Introduction to Water in California (California Natural History Guides) + Cadillac Desert: The American West and Its Disappearing Water, Revised Edition
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 288 pages
  • Publisher: W. W. Norton & Company; Revised and Updated edition (April 2, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0393342565
  • ISBN-13: 978-0393342567
  • Product Dimensions: 8.3 x 5.6 x 0.7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (10 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #414,444 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

“A hard-nosed, clear-eyed, tough-minded dispatch on the sort of contentious subject that is almost always distorted by ideology or obscured by a fog of sentiment . . . . A precise and brave book.” (Hal Espen - New York Times Book Review)

About the Author

Blaine Harden, an award-winning journalist, is a contributor to The Economist and a former foreign correspondent for the Washington Post. He lives in Seattle, Washington.

More About the Author

Blaine Harden is an author and journalist whose most recent book is Escape From Camp 14, a New York Times and international bestseller that has been translated into 27 languages. It's the story of Shin Dong-hyuk, the only person born and raised in a North Korean prison camp to escape to the West. Escape from Camp 14 won the 2012 Grand Prix de la Biographie Politique, a French literary award, was a nonfiction finalist for the Dayton Literary Peace Prize, and was featured on 60 Minutes.

Blaine has completed a new book on North Korea, The Great Leader and the Fighter Pilot, which will be published March 17, 2015. It tells the story of how Kim Il Sung grabbed power and plunged his country into war against the United States while the youngest fighter pilot in his air force played a high-risk game of deception--and escape.

Blaine contributes to the Washington Post, Foreign Policy, PBS Frontline and The Economist. A longtime foreign correspondent, he worked for The Washington Post in Africa, Eastern Europe and Asia, as well as in New York and Seattle. He was also a roving national reporter for The New York Times and writer for the Times Magazine.

Blaine is also the author of A River Lost. It's about well-intentioned Americans (including the author's father) who dammed and degraded the West's greatest river, the Columbia. The New York Times called it a "hard-nosed, tough-minded, clear-eyed dispatch on the sort of contentious subject that is almost always distorted by ideology or obscured by a fog of sentiment." An updated and revised edition of A River Lost was published in 2012 to coincide with a PBS American Experience program about Grand Coulee Dam and the Columbia River.

Blaine's first book, Africa: Dispatches from a Fragile Continent, was described by The Independent (London) as the "best contemporary book on Africa."

Blaine lives in Seattle with his wife Jessica and their two children, Lucinda and Arno.

Customer Reviews

4.4 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Georgene on November 29, 2012
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Having grown up next to the Columbia River, I was eager to read this book. I was astonished at how this formerly very wild, free running river has been tamed into the almost placid giant it has become.

As a disclaimer, I must admit that my father had a farm on the banks of the lower Columbia River and undoubtedly contributed to the pollution of this river. However, he was an early advocate against what he saw as the unnecessary pollution of both air and water of that region long before such stances were popular.

The author spent a lot of time interviewing numerous people who live, work and make their living from this river. Now beset by a multitude of dams, fulled with pollution from farms, industry and recreation and with it's vast runs of fish now gone, this river is but a sad shadow of its former self.

I would definitely recommend this book for anyone who is interested in the history of the Columbia River, the river's impact on the development of the Pacific Northwest and the devastation of the fish that once thrived in this most glorious river.

I think my father would have liked this book.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Anonymous on July 11, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Only provides US part of story of Columbia. Canadian interests not discussed, which is unfortunate given current negotiations on Treaty.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Shirley Lange on March 2, 2014
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Excellent. I hope to hear Mr Harden speak this summer on Shaw Island -- I have a few questions. Boldt decision was left out?? Why?
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Michael McLeod on November 29, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
A great reporter and writer tells the story of how one of America's greatest wild rivers was transformed into a series of puddles. I am very grateful to Mr. Harden for rescuing this story from obscurity. We tend to accept the dams on the Columbia as part of the natural landscape --- and they aren't.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Elizabeth E. Long on February 7, 2014
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This was required reading for my PNW History class. I expected it to be a boring factual book, but I was pleasantly surprised. It is a great book if you want to know the truth about the dams on the Columbia and the deceptions of our government. What an eye opener for me. Anyone interested in why and how they are there should read this book.
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