- Hardcover: 352 pages
- Publisher: W. W. Norton & Company; 1 edition (February 6, 2018)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0393242358
- ISBN-13: 978-0393242355
- Product Dimensions: 6.5 x 1.2 x 9.6 inches
- Shipping Weight: 1.4 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
- Customer Reviews: 35 customer ratings
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #491,496 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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The Source: How Rivers Made America and America Remade Its Rivers Hardcover – February 6, 2018
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- Robert Glennon, New York Times Book Review
“An original and thought-provoking exploration of the sinuous course that water has carved through our economic and political landscape.”
- Gerard Helferich, Wall Street Journal
“In [Doyle’s] telling, rivers become a lens on federalism, energy and conservation―a rolling narrative taking us from George Washington's quest to find a passage from the Atlantic Ocean to the Ohio River, through decades of levee-building, flood control, water wars and much more.”
“Authoritative…Even readers with an allergy to learning history will come away with a greater understanding of how rivers have literally made our country.”
- Tracy Ross, Outside Magazine
“A vigorous look at American history through the nation’s waterways…Doyle speaks well to issues that are as pressing today as in the first years of the republic.”
- Kirkus Reviews
“Readers interested in everything from American history to business, engineering, environmental concerns, and canoeing will find Doyle’s work absorbing and educational.”
“Just like its topic, The Source flows magnificently from end to end, carving out a story that spans a continent and several centuries. Martin Doyle weaves together a gripping mix of American history, geology, engineering, economics, and politics to show that American rivers are one of the inspirations of the constitution, the connective fabric of our industry, a triggering cause of environmental movements, and a source of power―physical, economic, and political.”
- Michael E. Webber, author of Thirst for Power
“Brilliantly conceived, The Source is a unique synthesis that recasts American history and flows with the power of unexpected insight.”
- David R. Montgomery, author of Growing A Revolution
“Move over Cadillac Desert and The Last Oasis; a new classic on American rivers has arrived. One of the world’s leading authorities on hydrology, Martin Doyle shows how rivers have served as the arteries and veins of the United States since the country’s very founding. It is a rich history both impressive and unsettling.”
- James Salzman, author of Drinking Water: A History
About the Author
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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.
For me, it was a slow read - because it is filled with thought-provoking information & insights.
Rivers have shaped the basic facts of America - where we live, how we conduct business, how we deal with risks, and how we govern ourselves.
By this great work, Martin Doyle (author) provides a thorough history of the central role Rivers have played in our local/national development. He informs us how vital (despite being taken for granted & oft-abused) Rivers are to our future.
For anyone wishing to better understand issues of American Environment, Government, and History - this seems a “must read”.
Fabulous job, Mister Doyle!!