Unruly River: Two Centuries of Change along the Missouri

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Overview

Writing in a new tradition of environmental history, Robert Kelley Schneiders takes a long historical view to reconstruct the Missouri Valley environment before Euro-American settlement and then trace the environmental transformations resulting from the development projects of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. He tells how the mighty Missouri has been transformed from a shallow, meandering stream to an engineered waterway with over a dozen dams, thousands of stone pile dikes, and seemingly endless miles of rock bank line--and how the river has reacted to the disruption of its original hydrologic and ecological processes.
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Editorial Reviews

Library Journal
Schneiders (history, Texas Tech) analyzes various social, political, and economic forces that have influenced the environmental history of the Missouri River. This is a well-written narrative of how the Missouri has changed since the coming of white civilization from a broad, meandering river to a partially regulated stream consisting of dams, reservoirs, and numerous channelized structures. Schneiders's study concentrates on the lower Missouri River valley area and, unlike previous scientific studies or polemical works such as Donald Worster's Rivers of Empire (LJ 2/1/86), this is a chronologically arranged history of how environmental changes relate to events in the river's development. Schneiders is critical of efforts, especially those of the Corps of Engineers during this century, to develop the river without sufficient information on how the changes would affect the environment. The monograph carefully analyzes the conflicting forces of human self-interest at play in the river's development. Numerous photographs and maps, an extensive bibliography, and an excellent introductory historiographical essay enhance the work. Written for a broad readership, it is recommended for both a general and specialized audience.--Charles C. Hay, Eastern Kentucky Univ. Archives, Richmond
Booknews
Writing in a new tradition of environmental history, the author takes a long historical view to reconstruct the Missouri Valley environment before Euro-American settlement. He tells how the mighty Missouri has been transformed from a shallow meandering stream to an engineered waterway with over a dozen dams, thousands of stone pile dikes, and seemingly endless miles of rock bank line, and he examines how the river has reacted to the disruption of its original hydrolic and ecological processes. Illustrated with 57 b&w photographs and 17 maps. Annotation c. by Book News, Inc., Portland, Or.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780700611881
  • Publisher: University Press of Kansas
  • Publication date: 3/28/1999
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Pages: 332
  • Sales rank: 1,258,832
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 0.74 (d)

Table of Contents

List of Figures and Maps
Acknowledgments
1 Introduction 1
2 The Modern Missouri 12
3 The Missouri River Yesterday 23
4 The Missouri Valley and American Settlement, 1803-1880 38
5 The River Abandoned 60
6 The River Rediscovered 85
7 The Dry Years, 1927-1942 113
8 South Dakota Attempts to Develop the River 148
9 The Wet Years, 1943-1951 162
10 The Mighty Missouri and the Final Quest for Control 187
11 The Untamable Missouri 222
12 Conclusion 252
Notes 259
Bibliography 289
Index 303
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