Top critical review
Great Topic - Too Much Information
Reviewed in the United States on August 11, 2016
I have enjoyed several of Stegner's books and was looking forward to this look at John Wesley Powell's foresight about water woes in the West. I thoroughly enjoyed some the earlier parts in the book where Powell's travels along the Colorado River and in parts of the Southwest were detailed, but this book eventually became mostly an ordeal to finish. Stegner obviously did an incredible amount of research before writing this book, and he must have been extremely interested in his topic. He certainly covered it thoroughly, but for my interests, he was just TOO THOROUGH. Things about which I did gain some insight, though, were the politics and federal involvement that led to the great Northern California water projects of my youth in the 1950s. A big problem that plagued Powell at the close of the 1800s and perplexed Stegner when he wrote the book in the early 1950s still remains today - TOO many people for the available water supply.