Customer Review

Reviewed in the United States on May 25, 2018
Rivers are what made the United States what it is and this book explores how rivers and streams have shaped our history and made the expansion of the country possible.

The author starts by examining the eastern river systems. Most didn't go very far inland, and while great for use as power for grist mills, they were not good for transportation. Then the idea of the Erie Canal came to be and it changed the depth of the country and how good were transported to market.

The author then looks at what we have done to harness rivers for navigation and to prevent flooding. Levees were built, rivers were straightened and depth increased to allow more river traffic. The best example is, of course the Mississippi River, which has become a backbone of American transportation.

The author also examines the environmental damage done to our rivers and how we continually made things worse with our rivers until the environmental movement of the seventies. That is when we started to reverse course and started to fix much of the damage done to our river systems.

The book is a fascinating read into an aspect of American history that has received little attention. We would not be the country we are without our river systems, and this book details that well. It is very readable and completely enjoyable.
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