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The sweeping narrative moves from the Greeks and Romans, whose mighty acqueducts still water modern cities, to China, where emperors marshaled armies of laborers in a centuries-long struggle, still ongoing today, to tame the country's powerful rivers. Medieval Europe and then the Industrial Revolution brought ingenious new solutions to water management---but, for the first time, turned water into a commodity to be bought, sold, and exploited rather than a natural force to be worshiped and husbanded. By the twentieth century, technology allowed the American desert to sparkle with swimming pools and lush golf courses---with little regard for sustainability.
With his customary elegance and peerless scholarship, Brian Fagan illustrates that the past teaches us that technologies for solving one or another water problem are not enough. From a practical standpoint, we still live at the mercy of the natural world. To solve the water crises of the future we may need to adapt the water ethos of our ancestors.
Customer ReviewsMost Helpful
By PhotoBeth on 12-08-13
Reminder: Listen to the preview before purchase.
How did the narrator detract from the book?
The narrator's accent is highly distracting. His inability to say the word "resources" may be the most challenging part of the listen. I couldn't get past the first chapter. However the content seems like it would be a good listen with a alternative narrator.
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