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Inventing Niagara: Beauty, Power, and Lies

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Inventing Niagara: Beauty, Power, and Lies Cover

 

Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

Americans call Niagara Falls a natural wonder, but the Falls aren't very natural anymore. In fact, they are a study in artifice. Water diverted, riverbed reshaped, brink stabilized and landscape redesigned, the Falls are more a monument to man's meddling than to nature's strength. Held up as an example of something real, they are hemmed in with fakery — waxworks, haunted houses, IMAX films and ersatz Indian tales. A symbol of American manifest destiny, they are shared politely with Canada. Emblem of nature's power, they are completely human-controlled. Archetype of natural beauty, they belie an ugly environmental legacy still bubbling up from below. On every level, Niagara Falls is a monument to how America falsifies nature, reshaping its contours and redirecting its force while claiming to submit to its will. andlt;BRandgt; andlt;BRandgt; Combining history, reportage and personal narrative, andlt;iandgt;Inventing Niagaraandlt;/iandgt; traces Niagara's journey from sublime icon to engineering marvel to camp spectacle. Along the way, Ginger Strand uncovers the hidden history of America's waterfall: the Mohawk chief who wrested the Falls from his adopted tribe, the revered town father who secretly assisted slave catchers, the wartime workers who unknowingly helped build the Bomb and the building contractor who bought and sold a pharaoh. With an uncanny ability to zero in on the buried truth, Strand introduces us to underwater dams, freaks of nature, mythical maidens and 280,000 radioactive mice buried at Niagara. andlt;BRandgt; andlt;BRandgt; From LaSalle to Lincoln to Los Alamos, Mohawks to Marilyn, Niagara's story is America's story, a tale of dreams founded on the mastery of nature. At a time of increasing environmental crisis, andlt;iandgt;Inventing Niagaraandlt;/iandgt; shows us how understanding the cultural history of nature might help us rethink our place in it today.

About the Author

andlt;Bandgt;Ginger Strandandlt;/Bandgt; was raised in Texas, Missouri, Illinois, Wisconsin, and Michigan. Her fiction and essays have appeared in many places, including andlt;Iandgt;The Believer, The Iowa Review, The Gettysburg Review,andlt;/Iandgt; and andlt;Iandgt;The Carolina Quarterly.andlt;/Iandgt; She has been awarded fiction residencies by Yaddo, the Virginia Center for the Creative Arts, and the Sewanee Writers' Conference. She lives in New York City.

Product Details

ISBN:
9781416546573
Author:
Strand, Ginger
Publisher:
Simon & Schuster
Subject:
Historical geography
Subject:
United States - State & Local - Middle Atlantic
Subject:
Canada - General
Subject:
World History-General
Copyright:
Edition Description:
Trade Paperback
Publication Date:
20090531
Binding:
TRADE PAPER
Grade Level:
General/trade
Language:
English
Illustrations:
1-8 pp 4c insert; 3 maps
Pages:
352
Dimensions:
8.44 x 5.5 in 11.655 oz

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Related Subjects


History and Social Science » Americana » New England and Mid Atlantic
History and Social Science » Americana » New York
History and Social Science » Americana » Northeast
History and Social Science » Native American » General Native American Studies
History and Social Science » World History » Canada
History and Social Science » World History » General

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