Cadillac Desert, Revised and Updated Edition: The American West and Its Disappearing Water

By Marc Reisner
With a new postscript by Lawrie Mott
Read by Francis J Spieler  and Kate Udall

27.98 Hours 11/07/2017 unabridged
Format: Digital Rental (In Stock)
  • Regular Price: $29.95

    Special Price $23.96

    or 1 Credit

    ISBN: 9781504766289

    $12.99 With Membership: Learn More
  • $7.95

    ISBN: 9781504766296

  • $44.95

    ISBN: 9781504766265

  • $44.95

    ISBN: 9781504766272

The story of the American West is the story of a relentless quest for a precious resource: water. It is a tale of rivers diverted and dammed, of political corruptions and intrigue, of billion-dollar battles over water rights, of ecologic and economic disaster. In Cadillac Desert, Marc Reisner writes of the earliest settlers, lured by the promise of paradise, and of the ruthless tactics employed by Los Angeles politicians and business interests to ensure the city’s growth. He documents the bitter rivalry between two government giants, the Bureau of Reclamation and the US Army Corps of Engineers, in the competition to transform the West. Based on more than a decade of research, Cadillac Desert is a stunning exposé and a dramatic, intriguing history of the creation of Eden—an Eden that may be only a mirage.

Learn More
Membership Details
  • Only $12.99/month gets you 1 Credit/month
  • Cancel anytime
  • Hate a book? Then we do too, and we'll exchange it.
See how it works in 15 seconds

Summary

Summary

The story of the American West is the story of a relentless quest for a precious resource: water. It is a tale of rivers diverted and dammed, of political corruptions and intrigue, of billion-dollar battles over water rights, of ecologic and economic disaster. In Cadillac Desert, Marc Reisner writes of the earliest settlers, lured by the promise of paradise, and of the ruthless tactics employed by Los Angeles politicians and business interests to ensure the city’s growth. He documents the bitter rivalry between two government giants, the Bureau of Reclamation and the US Army Corps of Engineers, in the competition to transform the West.

Based on more than a decade of research, Cadillac Desert is a stunning exposé and a dramatic, intriguing history of the creation of Eden—an Eden that may be only a mirage.

Editorial Reviews

Editorial Reviews

“The definitive work on the West’s water crisis.” Newsweek
“A revealing, absorbing, often amusing and alarming report on where billions of [taxpayer’s] dollars have gone—and where a lot more are going…[Reisner] has put the story together in trenchant form.” Gladwin Hill, New York Times Book Review
Cadillac Desert is timely and of national importance. Hurry up and read this book.” Washington Post
“Masterful…Among the most influential environmental books published by an American since Silent Spring.” San Francisco Examiner
“Essential background reading for anyone who cares about the drought ravaging the West and the region’s prospects for changing course before it is too late.” Daily Beast
“Beautifully written and meticulously researched.” St. Louis Post-Dispatch
“[This] timely and important book should be required reading for all citizens.” Publishers Weekly
Cadillac Desert describes serious, perhaps fatal threats to the miraculous desert civilization of the West…Take[s] effective aim at the vested interests that perpetuate unsound water resource development.” Library Journal
“When archaelogists from another planet sift through the bleached bones of our civilization, they may conclude that our temples were dams, says Reisner in this angry, exhaustive and gracefully written account of America’s quest to turn the inhospitable, irredeemably dry West into a Garden of Eden…Not the first book on the subject, but one of the best.” Kirkus Reviews

Reviews

Reviews

by TowerReview 1/27/2018
Overall Performance
Narration
Story

A fascinating history of water in the west.

Reminded me of the movie Chinatown, whose underlying mystery was about the water wars in Los Angeles. That history is covered too, along with all of the desert west, which is living on borrowed time and bad policy. Towns like Vegas and Phoenix are oasis fantasy cities. When the Colorado is dried up, they will be gone. It won't happen overnight, but it is already happening. Too many people and not enough water to supply the golf courses and cattle ranches. The narrators of this revised edition (particularly the final segment) are superb at avoiding melodrama. None is needed. The facts and history in the text speaks for itself.
by Ninjacorn-Unicorn, Tomayto-Tomato 11/28/2017
Overall Performance
Narration
Story

Dam It!

Ninety percent of our bodies are water. Water is by far the thing humans can go the shortest time without before dying. If all the world's water were fit into a gallon jug, the fresh water available for us to use would equal only about one tablespoon. I could go on. The subject of water, or the lack thereof, seems like a really important topic.
Cadillac Desert taps into this vital resource urgently and with gusto, like a wrecking ball into a dam. It should be required reading for any lifeform whatsoever that uses water…which I believe are all of them? Perhaps there is even a version of this excellent audiobook for stink-beetles or sleepy millennials.
There oughta be. But in a day of Twitter tantrums and sound bytes and Candy Crush and apples being called bananas, is anyone even listening anymore? The world seems to be burning from the inside out, fresh lakes are drying up and turning to crimson blood. But no one seems to care or know what to do---or even how to care anymore. Tis like we’ve all become robotic Stepford Wives, soulless and uninformed, whose ability to protest and act has shrunken and shriveled to apathetic raisins.
Well, both I and author Marc Reisner hope you’re listening. And then thinking, deeply. A lot. And then creatively finding a way to act, for there ARE solutions we can all be part of. We must at least try to chip away at the worldly problem of water shortage. Or there won’t be any comments and reviews forums to type in, as there will be no world. Can we comprehend this? Can our brains, which are ninety percent water, latch onto these things to save its very own existence from extinction.
Read expertly, and with urgency and conviction, by Joe Spieler and Kate Udall. I thank them and the author for their hard work here.

Author

Author Bio: Marc Reisner

Marc Reisner (1948–2000) was, in Jim Harrison’s words, “in the upper echelon of those defending the environment with conscience, intelligence, and energy.” Born in St. Paul, Reisner was a staff writer for the Natural Resources Defense Council from 1972 to 1979, and received the Alicia Patterson Journalism Fellowship in 1979 to investigate water resources in the West. His book Cadillac Desert: The American West and Its Disappearing Water was nominated for a National Book Critics Circle Award.

Titles by Author

Details

Details

Available Formats : Digital Download, Digital Rental, CD, MP3 CD
Category: Nonfiction
Runtime: 27.98
Audience: Adult
Language: English