River Republic

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  • Format: Hardcover
  • Copyright: 2012-08-07
  • Publisher: Columbia Univ Pr

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Daniel McCool not only chronicles the history of water development agencies in America and the way in which special interests have abused rather than preserved the country's rivers. He also narrates the second, brighter act in this ongoing story: the surging, grassroots movement to bring these rivers back to life and ensure they remain pristine for future generations. The culmination of ten years of research and observation, McCool's book confirms the surprising news that America's rivers are indeed returning to a healthier, free-flowing condition. The politics of river restoration have also brought democratic grassroots activism back to its meaningful roots. Through passion and dedication, ordinary people have reclaimed the American landscape, forming a "river republic" of concerned citizens from all backgrounds and sectors of society. As McCool shows, the history, culture, and fate of America is tied to its rivers, and their restoration is a microcosm mirroring American beliefs, livelihoods, and an increasing awareness of what two hundred years of environmental degradation can do. McCool profiles the individuals he calls "instigators" who initiated the fight for these waterways and, despite enormous odds, have succeeded in the near-impossible task of challenging and changing the status quo. Part I recounts the history of America's relationship to its rivers; part II describes how and why Americans "parted" them out, destroying their essence and diminishing their value; and part III proves society can live in harmony with its waterways and restore their well-being -- and, by extension, the well-being of those who depend on them.

Table of Contents

Prefacep. xi
Acknowledgmentsp. xv
"Green River,"p. xvii
Map: Selected Sitesp. xviii-xix
The Fall
Crumbling Edificep. 3
The Disjuncturep. 8
Instigatorsp. 11
The Glenp. 14
Water Hubrisp. 22
Planters, Sawyers, and Snags: The U.S. Army Corps of Engineersp. 25
"Building Strong"p. 27
Not Just Peanutsp. 29
Rusting Rebarp. 31
The Big Boo-Boop. 35
Under Siegep. 42
The Invitationp. 50
The Manless Land: The Bureau of Reclamationp. 52
Watery Sciencep. 54
The Inland Empire and the Fifty Princessesp. 57
Dinosaurp. 60
Dominyp. 65
Sugar Cityp. 69
Turning the Cornerp. 72
Blueprint for Reformp. 73
The Pendulum and the Roguep. 76
Water 2025p. 81
Heritage of Conflictp. 82
Handout Horticulture: Farming and the Fedsp. 87
The Agro-industrial Complexp. 88
Fish Trapsp. 94
Dying 4 Waterp. 97
Crops, Capitalism, and Contextp. 101
Falling Waters: Hydropower and Renewable Energyp. 105
Smolts and Voltsp. 108
The Scenic and the Sacredp. 126
Bucket of Ashesp. 133
Rivers Into Waterways: Barging, Locks, and Damsp. 138
Tallstacksp. 141
Cooking the Datap. 146
Dinner Buckets and Party Bargesp. 153
A National Dutyp. 161
Black Water Rising: The Myth of Flood Controlp. 166
The Storm of Good Fridayp. 167
Gallowayp. 169
House-a-Firep. 172
Coon-Assp. 182
The House of Death Floats Byp. 186
Downstream Dilemma: Water Pollutionp. 189
Toxics Run Through Itp. 190
Song of the Chattahoocheep. 195
Too Many Federal Toilets, Not Enough Senatorsp. 204
Superfund Riverp. 211
Pure River of Water of Lifep. 215
River City: Urban Riverscapesp. 219
Belle Islep. 220
River of the Angelsp. 222
River of Democracy and the Emerald Necklacep. 227
A Great Multitude of Fishp. 234
The Pleasantness of the Riverp. 237
Net Losses: Habitat and Endangered Speciesp. 240
Alphabet Gumbop. 242
God Bless Americap. 246
Ten Thousand Years of Fishingp. 252
A Foot Deep with Fishp. 256
The Other Side of the Riverp. 260
Show Me the Moneyp. 261
Playground on the Move: River Recreationp. 265
Moving-Water Recreationp. 267
Agents of Changep. 272
Lunkers and Extreme Instant Shadep. 276
Water Warriorsp. 280
The River Commonsp. 283
Kitty Clyde's Sisterp. 284
Black-Side Upp. 288
The Katrina Syndromep. 291
Amenity Riversp. 295
Instigators Reduxp. 300
Lotic Dreamsp. 302
Notesp. 305
Indexp. 371
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