Publishers Weekly - Publisher's WeeklyIn the late 1960s, the Dos Rios Dam on the Eel River was the largest proposed water project in California. Simon ( Jupiter's Travels ) shows that before the environmental movement was launched, in a state seemingly controlled by water interests and governed by Ronald Reagan, only the relentless efforts of one person, wealthy rancher Richard Wilson, derailed the building of the Dos Rios Dam and by so doing redefined California's environmental agenda. ``Largely as a result of Richard's energy and determination, it was never again possible for a major water project to be planned in California without the environmental and social cost being evaluated first.'' The specifics of the battle to defeat the Eel River proposal are nicely set within the broader context of Southern California's thirst for the north's water. Simon handles the historical chapters in a much drier fashion, however, which considerably slows this otherwise fast-paced book. Photos not seen by PW. Author tour. (Sept.)
'The River Stops Here' is an exhilarating tale of classic American heroism, the unforgettable story of one man's battle to save a valley and a way of life.
Library JournalSimon (Jupiter's Travels, LJ 2/15/80) tells the story of Richard Wilson, the man who led the fight against the Dos Rios Dam project in California in the 1960s. He follows the controversy from beginning to end, offering views of both major and minor contributing personalities (e.g., Ronald Reagan). Although Simon provides an overabundance of background information before reaching the essence of the controversy, his conversational style makes this complicated affair involving and accessible to the reader. Still, a chart with agencies and agency personnel would have helped in keeping track of key players, and while adequate maps are essential to understanding this affair, the maps were unavailable for review. Although Simon's bias is clear, he succeeds in illuminating all sides of California water issues. Despite its deficiencies, this book is recommended for libraries serving patrons interested in Western water and environmental issues.-Jeanne Davidson, Augustana Coll., Rock Island, Ill.
Brian McCombieThe story of the fight to stop the building of a dam in northern California. The struggles occur on many levels for Richard Wilson, who decides in 1967 that plans to turn the Round Valley into a large reservoir must be stopped. At first, he and others see such plans as another of the many "crazy water schemes" that the water-starved West regularly created. By the time he and his companions realize that the state and the Army Corps of Engineers are serious, it's almost too late. His story is the story of how one man fights for those things "elemental" to us all--love, honor, family, and the land--and the personal costs of engaging in such a battle. Interestingly, Simon doesn't seem to understand how "elemental" self-interest is, for all sides, in the compelling story he narrates.
- Random House Publishing Group
- Publication date:
- Edition description:
- 1st ed
- Product dimensions:
- 6.49(w) x 9.54(h) x 1.33(d)
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