A Discover Magazine Top Science Book of the Year
A Northern California Book Award Finalist
There are more than 45,000 of them in the world. They have altered the speed of the planet's rotation, the tilt of its axis, and the shape of its gravitational field. They influence landscapes and societies. They are dams, and in Deep Water, Jacques Leslie offers an incisive, searching, and beautifully written account of the emerging crisis over dams and the world's water. Reporting in the tradition of John McPhee and Peter Matthiessen, Leslie examines the crisis through the lives of three people: Medha Patkar, the world's foremost anti-dam activist; Thayer Scudder, an American anthropologist; and Don Blackmore, an Australian water manager. In each of these engrossing portraits, Leslie shows how dams seduce national leaders with seeming bounties of water and power but end up producing blights on the citizenry and landscape. Deep Water is an eloquent and important book about the water crisis and a startling look at the fate of our planet.
""Fascinating . . . Jacques Leslie is a fine writer. . . . No other book presents this issue to a lay reader so thoroughly and so persuasively.""--The Seattle Times
""Leslie delivers scene and mood with the economy and precision of a good novelist. His profiles are so well observed one forgets that the characters have not sprung from his own imagination.""--Columbia Journalism Review
""Leslie's edgy, potent, and in-depth inquiry unveils the drastic, unintentional consequences of dams and exposes yet more evidence of the catastrophic results of allowing greed and politics to trump science and justice.""--Booklist
""Leslie has written a volume that is heir, both in organization and in power, to Encounters with the Archdruid, John McPhee's classic profile of David Brower and his fight against dam-nation. . . . Superb.""--Bill McKibben, OnEarth magazine
""If the wars of this century were fought over oil, the wars of the next century will be fought over water.""--Ismail Serageldin, former Vice President of the World Bank