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Master how-it-works writer John McPhee has instructed his readers in the arcana of how oranges are commercially graded, how mountains form, how canoes are built and oceans crossed. In The Control of Nature he turns his attention once more to geology and the human struggle against nature. In one sketch, he explores the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers' unrealized plan to divert the flow of the Mississippi River into a tributary, the Atchafalaya, for flood control; in another, he looks at the ingenious ways in which an Icelandic engineer saved a southern harbor on that island from being destroyed by a lava flow; in a third, he examines a complex scheme to protect Los Angeles from boulders ejected from mountains by compression and tectonic movement. As always, McPhee combines a deep knowledge of his subject with a narrative approach that is wholly accessible; you may not have thought you were interested in earthquakes and flood control, but he gently leads you to take a passionate concern in such matters.
A fascinating read in a very readable style. The three cases the author uses had my jaw dropping at nearly every page as humans attempt to control the energy forces of nature. Read morePublished 3 months ago by RONALD A FURNESS
Just what the title says; people trying to control nature. A volcano in Iceland. Keeping the Mississippi from changing course. And my favorite, LA Against The Mountains. Read morePublished 3 months ago by DiverDanP
I LOVE John McPhee's books! What a wonderful combination of information on the topic (in this case on the efforts we humans make to control nature) along with great stories about... Read morePublished 4 months ago by Barb in WV
I'm a big fan of John McPhee's, and this is the third copy of this book I've bought. He has an unusual writing style that takes a little getting used to, but I've long since done... Read morePublished 5 months ago by Johnny Bilheimer
Interesting book but needs illustrations and numerous MAPS! Learned a lot especially that mankind is a fool! Read morePublished 5 months ago by Jon from the North
For the reader with a technical mind or an interet in science, this is a highly entertaining must-read account of three of man's failed efforts to control nature: an attempt to... Read morePublished 7 months ago by Angela
Excellent book. John McPhee is a most engaging author and the subject matter is very interesting. Highly recommend!Published 7 months ago by Amazon Customer