Book Details

Google preview button
    • July 2014
    • 9780231161312
  • 408 Pages
  • Paperback
  • $26.00
  • / £18.00


    • August 2012
    • 9780231161305
  • 408 Pages
  • Hardcover
  • $34.50
  • / £24.00


    • August 2012
    • 9780231504416
  • 408 Pages
  • E-book
  • $33.99
  • / £23.50

River Republic

The Fall and Rise of America's Rivers

Daniel McCool

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 demonstrates how strong grassroots movements can challenge entrenched powers and win. Through passion and dedication, ordinary people are reclaiming 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 of the volume 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 shows how society can live in harmony with its waterways while restoring their well-being--and, by extension, the well-being of those who depend on them.

About the Author

Daniel McCool is the director of the Environmental and Sustainability Studies Program and a professor in the Political Science Department at the University of Utah. He has won a number of awards for his teaching and publications, and his research focuses on water resources development, voting rights, American Indian water rights, and public lands policy. He has published widely in such journals as the Cornell Journal of Law and Public Policy, Political Research Quarterly, and the University of Texas Law Review. This is his eighth book.

A broad, up-to-date, hopeful view of our nation's rivers.

McCool tempers the flow of statistics and environmental facts with liberal doses of wit and colorful anecdotes while offering a reassuring account of working-class citizens triumphing in a timely cause.

Written in an easy-to-read narrative style that is at times poetic, River Republic is also filled with facts and political analysis.

Rosemarie Howard

...R iver Republic is an easy read that raises important questions about politics, money, and development along U.S. rivers while providing vibrant accounts of restoration projects all across the country.

Adam Mandelman

Daniel McCool has done a terrific job

Steve Johnson

well-researched and well-written...Highly recommended.

An authoritative exposé of the political economy of river management in the United States... An important book. River Republic offers essential lessons for entrenched water bureaucracy.

PrefaceAcknowledgments"Green River," by William Cullen BryantMap: Selected SitesPart I: The Fall1. Crumbling Edifice2. Planters, Sawyers, and Snags: The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers3. The Manless Land: The Bureau of ReclamationPart II: Dismemberment4. Handout Horticulture: Farming and the Feds5. Falling Waters: Hydropower and Renewable Energy6. Rivers Into Waterways: Barging, Locks, and Dams7. Black Water Rising: The Myth of Flood Control8. Downstream Dilemma: Water PollutionPart III: Resurrection9. River City: Urban Riverscapes10. Net Losses: Habitat and Endangered Species11. Playground on the Move: River Recreation12. The River CommonsNotesIndex

Read the first chapter from River Republic (to view in full screen, click on icon in bottom right-hand corner):

Runner-up - 2013 Green Book Festival in the Scientific category