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Running Dry: A Journey From Source to Sea Down the Colorado River Hardcover – May 18, 2010
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*Starred Review* Waterman, whose earlier books illuminate the Arctic, strikes an impressive balance between the personal and the political in chronicling his journey down the Colorado River. Quoting those who have traveled its depths before, such as John Wesley Powell and Wallace Stegner, he writes not only about the river’s now-dying power but also the extensive regulations put in place to control and possess it. And yet as much as this is about the river, Waterman also discusses individuals invested in its survival from biologists to the many watermen and -women whose livelihoods come from navigating its length. The misguided playground of Lake Powell proves to be an unsavory stopping point, but the author perseveres in his search for answers. From Vegas to Mexico, he finds waste and ruin and then turns a corner to discover the fruits of hard-won battles for bird sanctuaries and brilliant uses of drip irrigation. Through it all, he ruminates about the choices between life and death for humankind and rivers. An evocative and bold take on a river and what winning the West really means, Waterman’s book epitomizes the best of environmental writing. --Colleen Mondor
“An evocative and bold take on a river and what winning the West really means, Waterman’s book epitomizes the best of environmental writing.” –Booklist Starred Review
“…through the author’s eyes we see how everything beautiful and majestic, and difficult and frightening, about the United States in 2010 is carried in the currents of that river. You can’t put it down, and you can’t put it aside, without asking yourself: What should I be doing differently?” –2010 Banff Mountain Book Festival, “Best Book-Adventure Travel”
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Top Customer Reviews
I'll give an update when I finish the book.
Oh, and I do wish there were pictures. I don't know if there are pictures somewhere in the book because I can't fan the pages of a Kindle book looking for them, but there ought to be a picture on every page. I have seen none yet. I am using Microsoft Streets and Trips and Google Earth on my laptop to see where the author is at any point in the book. Street View is very helpful to get an idea of the topography.
I think this book would be great for parents to share with their kids while using mapping software and following along on the authors travels.
UPDATE: I've now finished reading the book. I still highly recommend the book. I found a few pictures at the absolute end of my Kindle edition. I highly prefer photos be embedded at the relevant portion of the book. Also, a few places seem to be truncated w/o the end of sentences. Don't know why that happened. I recall only one spelling error where a "there" should have been a "their."
My only complaint with the book is substantive in that the further you get into the book the more obviously one-sided it reads without any effort applied to seeing the other side of the story. It is impossible for me to clarify this statement without spoiling the story for potential readers so I will just say that the author seems to find no value in motorized pleasure boating and misses the point completely that most of the problems with the Colorado running dry are caused by exponential population growth rather than some arbitrarily inappropriate use of water for recreation like building dams.
Simply stunning work product otherwise. Thank you for a great education about the river and water rights. See authors web site for a detailed map not included in Kindle edition and to my recollection not mentioned either until end of book.
In my own community, the University of Minnesota recently tried to censor a film "Troubled Waters: A Mississippi River Story", presumably under pressure from the agricultural industry worried about public relations. Truth has many faces, and we need to be vigilant and involved if we are not be misled and hornswoggled in the issue of environmental water conservation.
Jon has been an environmental steward his entire life. He has now written 10 books; virtually all engage the reader to value and protect our wilderness areas. His early service as a Denali park ranger led to his writing "Surviving Denali". His more recent books reach from the Sea of Cortez ("Kayaking the Vermillion Sea") to the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge and Northwest Passage ("Where Mountains are Nameless"). The National Geographic has a pretty good track record of supporting the best and the brightest scientists and journalists to present valuable information to their readership. Jon's research expedition for this book traverses the entire length of the Colorado River from its origins in the Rockies to the sea. "Running Dry" offers a valuable picture of an amazing and vital waterway in crisis. It is an impassioned and eloquent call to action that hopefully we will heed.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
First, Waterman is not a great writer.Read more