- Hardcover: 384 pages
- Publisher: W. W. Norton & Company; 1 edition (March 7, 2017)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0393246434
- ISBN-13: 978-0393246438
- Product Dimensions: 6.5 x 1.4 x 9.6 inches
- Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 131 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #12,115 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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The Death and Life of the Great Lakes 1st Edition
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"Enlightenment Now: The Case for Reason, Science, Humanism, and Progress"
Is the world really falling apart? Is the ideal of progress obsolete? Cognitive scientist and public intellectual Steven Pinker urges us to step back from the gory headlines and prophecies of doom, and instead, follow the data: In seventy-five jaw-dropping graphs, Pinker shows that life, health, prosperity, safety, peace, knowledge, and happiness are on the rise. Learn more
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“Dan Egan’s deeply researched and sharply written The Death and Life of The Great Lakes…nimbly splices together history, science, reporting and personal experiences into a taut and cautiously hopeful narrative…Egan’s book is bursting with life (and yes, death).”
- Robert Moor, New York Times Book Review
“Engaging…[and] impeccably researched…Told like a great story rather than an academic lecture.”
- Anna M. Michalak, Nature
“Living up to . . . early acclaim, [The Death and Life of the Great Lakes] is easy to read, offering well-paced, intellectually stimulating arguments, bolstered by well-researched and captivating narratives.”
- Lekelia Danielle Jenkins, Science
“Fascinating and brilliant.”
- Vicky Albritton and Fredrik Albritton Jonsson, Los Angeles Review of Books
“This book feels urgent to policymakers and laypersons alike.”
- Kerri Arsenault, Literary Hub
“An accessible, even gripping narrative about the massive, unforeseen costs of our interventions in the natural world. . . . The Death and Life of the Great Lakes is an engaging, vitally important work of science journalism.”
- Eva Holland, The Globe and Mail
“The Death and Life of the Great Lakes reads like a mystery. . . . Egan knows how to pare a story to its most interesting elements. Having finished the book, I immediately started over.”
- Louise Erdrich
“Dan Egan has done more than any other journalist in America to chronicle the decline of this once-great ecosystem, to alert the public to new threats, and to force governments to take remedial action.”
- Grantham Prize for Excellence in Reporting on the Environment, Special Merit citation
About the Author
Dan Egan is a reporter at the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel and a senior water policy fellow at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee's School of Freshwater Sciences. He has twice been a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize, and he has won the Alfred I. duPont–Columbia University Award, John B. Oakes Award, AAAS Kavli Science Journalism Award, and J. Anthony Lukas Work-in-Progress Award. A graduate of the Columbia Journalism School, he lives in Milwaukee with his wife and children.
Top customer reviews
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Egan translates technical details in a way that a lay audience can understand, from invasive species to engineering triumphs and foibles, from climate change to algae-poisoned drinking water, from man's attempts to control life in the lakes to political battles over water rights.
One of the most fascinating--and necessary--lessons of this book is how one alteration in the system has set off a catastrophic chain reaction. The zebra and quagga mussels invaded these waters through freighter ballast water. With no natural predictor, they took over the lower lakes, eating a lot of the zooplankton that cloud the water. The water is crystal clear--deceptively healthy. The clear water means the whitefish have less plankton to eat, and they are significantly slimmer and their populations have suffered. It also means that sunlight can reach further into the lakes--in some cases, to the bottom, where plant life can flourish. One particular plant adheres to the invasive mussels, where it obtains an abundance of nutrients. It overgrows, dies and washes up at beautiful swimming beaches where it rots.
I grew up just one two blocks from Lake Erie and have vacationed on Lakes Michigan, Superior and Huron for much of my adult life. I also lived through Toledo's water crisis covered in a chapter of this book. The Death and Life of the Great Lakes has inspired me to become more educated and more involved in restoring and preserving these treasures.