River Lost: The Life And Death Of Columbia

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River Lost: The Life And Death Of Columbia

by Blaine Harden

WW Norton | May 7, 1996 | Hardcover

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After a two-decade absence, journalist Blaine Harden returned to his small-town birthplace in the Pacific Northwest to follow the rise and fall of the West''s most thoroughly conquered river. Harden''s hometown, Moses Lake, Washington, could not have existed without massive irrigation schemes. His father, a Depression migrant trained as a welder, helped build dams and later worked at the secret Hanford plutonium plant. Now he and his neighbors, once considered patriots, stand accused of killing the river. As Blaine Harden traveled the Columbia-by barge, car, and sometimes on foot-his past seemed both foreign and familiar. A personal narrative of rediscovery joined a narrative of exploitation: of Native Americans, of endangered salmon, of nuclear waste, and of a once-wild river now tamed to puddled remains. Part history, part memoir, part lament, "this is a brave and precise book," according to the . "It must not have been easy for Blaine Harden to find himself turning his journalistic weapons against his own heritage, but he has done the conscience of his homeland a great service."

Format: Hardcover

Dimensions: 320 pages, 9.5 × 6.5 × 1.05 in

Published: May 7, 1996

Publisher: WW Norton

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10: 0393039366

ISBN - 13: 9780393039368

Found in: Rivers

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– More About This Product –

River Lost: The Life And Death Of Columbia

by Blaine Harden

Format: Hardcover

Dimensions: 320 pages, 9.5 × 6.5 × 1.05 in

Published: May 7, 1996

Publisher: WW Norton

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10: 0393039366

ISBN - 13: 9780393039368

From the Publisher

After a two-decade absence, journalist Blaine Harden returned to his small-town birthplace in the Pacific Northwest to follow the rise and fall of the West''s most thoroughly conquered river. Harden''s hometown, Moses Lake, Washington, could not have existed without massive irrigation schemes. His father, a Depression migrant trained as a welder, helped build dams and later worked at the secret Hanford plutonium plant. Now he and his neighbors, once considered patriots, stand accused of killing the river. As Blaine Harden traveled the Columbia-by barge, car, and sometimes on foot-his past seemed both foreign and familiar. A personal narrative of rediscovery joined a narrative of exploitation: of Native Americans, of endangered salmon, of nuclear waste, and of a once-wild river now tamed to puddled remains. Part history, part memoir, part lament, "this is a brave and precise book," according to the . "It must not have been easy for Blaine Harden to find himself turning his journalistic weapons against his own heritage, but he has done the conscience of his homeland a great service."

From the Jacket

This is a book about how well-intentioned Americans dammed up the Columbia, "Great River of the West", fulfilling dreams of cheap electricity and gardens flourishing in the desert. It is also a narrative of exploitation: of Native Americans, of endangered salmon, of nuclear waste, and of a river - once wild - tamed to puddled remains. Harden''s story is a journey of rediscovery. His home town, Moses Lake, Washington, once bone dry, could not have existed without gargantuan irrigation schemes. His father, a Depression migrant trained as a welder, helped build dams - including Grand Coulee - and later worked at the secret Hanford plutonium plant. Now he and his neighbors, who had thought of themselves as patriots, stood accused of killing the river. As Blaine Harden traveled the thousand miles of the Columbia - by barge, by car, and sometimes on foot - his own past seemed both foreign and familiar. He met rugged individualists (albeit with government subsidies), fervent environmentalists, and Native Americans reduced to consuming canned salmon. He also encountered a newly ascendant political force whose more subtle agenda was to preserve and conserve for its own pleasure and recreation.

About the Author

Blaine Harden, an award-winning journalist, is a contributor to The Economist and a former foreign correspondent for the Washington Post. He lives in Seattle, Washington.

From Our Editors

This is a book about how well-intentioned Americans dammed up the Columbia, "Great River of the West", fulfilling dreams of cheap electricity and gardens flourishing in the desert. It is also a narrative of exploitation: of Native Americans, of endangered salmon, of nuclear waste, and of a river - once wild - tamed to puddled remains. Harden's story is a journey of rediscovery. His home town, Moses Lake, Washington, once bone dry, could not have existed without gargantuan irrigation schemes. His father, a Depression migrant trained as a welder, helped build dams - including Grand Coulee - and later worked at the secret Hanford plutonium plant. Now he and his neighbors, who had thought of themselves as patriots, stood accused of killing the river. As Blaine Harden traveled the thousand miles of the Columbia - by barge, by car, and sometimes on foot - his own past seemed both foreign and familiar. He met rugged individualists (albeit with government subsidies), fervent environmentalists, and Native Americans reduced to consuming canned salmon. He also encountered a