The Wild River and the Great Dam: The Construction of Hoover Dam and the Vanishing Colorado River

The Wild River and the Great Dam: The Construction of Hoover Dam and the Vanishing Colorado River

by Simon Boughton
The Wild River and the Great Dam: The Construction of Hoover Dam and the Vanishing Colorado River

The Wild River and the Great Dam: The Construction of Hoover Dam and the Vanishing Colorado River

by Simon Boughton

Hardcover

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Overview

"In this detailed and informative work, Boughton chronicles the construction of the Hoover Dam via compellingly comprehensive text." —Publishers Weekly, starred review

★ "This well-written narrative is bound to become the authority on this modern American marvel." —Booklist, starred review

Discover the complicated history behind the construction of Hoover Dam—one of the country’s most recognizable and far-reaching landmarks—and its lasting political and environmental effects on the Colorado River and the American West.    

At the time of its completion in 1936, Hoover Dam was the biggest dam in the world and the largest feat of architecture and engineering in the country—a statement of national ambition and technical achievement. It turned the wild Colorado River into a tame and securely managed water source, transforming millions of acres of desert into farmland while also providing water and power to the fast-growing population of the Southwest. The concrete monolith quickly became a symbol of American ingenuity; however, its history is laden with contradiction. It provided work for thousands, but it was a dangerous project that exploited desperate workers during the Depression. It helped secure the settlement and economies of the Southwest, but at the expense of Indigenous peoples and the environment; and it created a dependency on the Colorado River’s water, which is under threat from overuse and climate change.

Weaving together elements of engineering, geography, and political and socioeconomic history, and drawing heavily from unpublished oral histories taken from dam workers and their families, Simon Boughton’s thoughtful and compelling debut—featuring historical photographs throughout—follows the construction and impact of Hoover Dam, and how its promise of abundance ultimately created a river in crisis today.

A Junior Library Guild Gold Standard Selection

"A fascinating history of the building of the Hoover Dam…. A great addition to nonfiction collections covering dams, ecology, and history of the Southwest."  —School Library Journal

"A fascinating blend of social and environmental history and engineering." —Kirkus Reviews

"Truly breathtaking. This is a powerful story and like the water slowly rising behind that concrete barrier, it becomes more powerful with each page turn." —David Macaulay, two-time recipient of the Caldecott Medal and creator of the bestselling The Way Things Work

"An exciting mix of research, storytelling, and an astounding true story—one that’s still unfolding today." —Steve Sheinkin, three-time National Book Award finalist and Newbery Honor author of Bomb

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780316380744
Publisher: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers
Publication date: 03/12/2024
Pages: 256
Sales rank: 196,750
Product dimensions: 7.50(w) x 9.10(h) x 1.10(d)
Age Range: 9 - 14 Years

About the Author

Simon Boughton has worked as a book publisher for the last thirty years, most recently as the publishing director of Norton Young Readers. Among the books he has published are the National Book Award finalist Victory. Stand! and the Boston Globe–Horn Book Award winner From a Whisper to a Rallying Cry. Previously, he founded Roaring Brook Press, where books he edited and published include the Caldecott Medal winners My Friend Rabbit and The Man Who Walked Between the Towers. He divides his time between his home in Delaware County in upstate New York and New York City.

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