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Customer Review

36 of 38 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars One of the best book about politics, June 19, 2005
This review is from: Water and Power: The Conflict over Los Angeles Water Supply in the Owens Valley (Paperback)
I stumbled on this book at a gas station in Death Valley, while looking for something to put me to sleep at the no TV motel I was staying at. It turned out that it was not only the most informative book about California water politics I had ever read but also one of the most insightful books about politics and the human nature.

We are all familiar with the premise of the movie "Chinatown." Scheming developers like giant puppeteers, plot to bring water to South California to sell real estate. "Water and Power" goes into so much more fascinating detail. Reality is never that simple. Intricate alliances and wars within and between various federal, state and local agencies, farmers, businessmen, newspapers, labor activists. And the end result of many battles is often the result of chance. In the process of reading all this one learns the history of 20th century California.Unlike Mike Davis' "City of Quartz" which is boring and predictable because all the facts are shoehorned to fit his point of view, "Water and Power" is fascinating because William Kahrl lets the facts tell their own story and reality becomes stranger than fiction.

The only other similar book that comes to mind is David Fromkin's "A Peace to end all Peace". Although it deals with the Middle East it's also a history of unintended consequences. But in a way "Water and Power" it's even more fascinating because it exposes the same machinations of politics through the seemingly innocuous subject of local water politics.

This book is a must for anyone interested in politics.
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Showing 1-2 of 2 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Apr 1, 2008 7:34:36 AM PDT
J. Pringle says:
Thank you for a concise, non-pedantic, non-showoff review that actually tells me what I want to know about this book.

In reply to an earlier post on Oct 12, 2014 3:18:43 PM PDT
Wow! What a useful synopsis. Peace to end all peace us one of the best books I've read. Please continue to provide reviews!
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Location: Los Angeles, CA

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