The author of Last Train to Paradise tells the story of the largest public water project ever created - William Mulholland's Los Angeles aqueduct - a story of Gilded Age ambition, hubris, greed, and one determined man whose vision shaped the future and continues to impact us today.
In 1907 Irish immigrant William Mulholland conceived and built one of the greatest civil engineering feats in history: the aqueduct that carried water 223 miles from the Sierra Nevada mountains to Los Angeles - allowing this small, resource-challenged desert city to grow into a modern global metropolis. Drawing on new research, Les Standiford vividly captures the larger-than-life engineer and the breathtaking scope of his six-year, $23-million project that would transform a region, a state, and a nation at the dawn of its greatest century.
With energy and colorful detail, Water to the Angels brings to life the personalities, politics, and power - including bribery, deception, force, and bicoastal financial warfare - behind this dramatic event. At a time when the importance of water is being recognized as never before - considered by many experts to be the essential resource of the twenty-first century - Water to the Angels brings into focus the vigor of a fabled era, the might of a larger-than-life individual, and the scale of a priceless construction project and sheds critical light on a past that offers insights for our future.
"As he goes back into Mulholland's life and work, Fass delivers an understated but gripping narration." (AudioFile)
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Solid High Level Overview of a Big Topic
I'd recommend this book to those who want an easy to understand and accessible overview of LA's complex water issues. Water is a big issue for us in So Cal and this book really helps understand the backdrop of how we got to where we are today.
I would've appreciated a deeper dive into a few of the topics within the book. LA's history is so rich and storied the author could've pick a few elements to expand on. But, as I wrote, the book delivered a very good and accessible account of a fascinating and dramatic topic.
No to be mean but the narrator's voice sounded like it was run through auto tune a few times over.
A must read for ALL Californians.
- Diane Harris Hara