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The Control of Nature

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The Control of Nature Cover

ISBN13: 9780374522599
ISBN10: 0374522596
Condition: Standard
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Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

The Control of Nature is John McPhee's bestselling account of places where people are locked in combat with nature. Taking us deep into these contested territories, McPhee details the strageties and tactics through which people attempt to control nature. Most striking is his depiction of the main contestants: nature in complex and awesome guises, and those attempting to wrest control from her - stubborn, sometimes foolhardy, more often ingenious, and always arresting characters.

John McPhee is the author of more than 25 books, including Annals of the Former World, for which he received the Pulitzer Prize in Nonfiction in 1999. He has been a staff writer at The New Yorker since 1965 and lives in Princeton, New Jersey. McPhee's Encounters with the Archdruid and The Curve of Binding Energy were both nominated for National Book Awards in the category of science.

The Control of Nature is John McPhee's bestselling account of places in the world where people have been engaged in all-out battles with nature. In Louisiana, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers has declared war on the lower Mississippi River, which threatens to follow a new route to the sea and cut off New Orleans and Baton Rouge from the rest of the United States. Icelanders confront flowing red lava in an attempt to save a crucial harbor. In Los Angeles, basins are built to catch devastating debris flows from the San Gabriel Mountains.

Taking us deep into these contested territories, McPhee details the strategies and tactics through which people attempt to control nature. Most striking is his depiction of the main contestants: nature in complex and awesome guises, and those attempting to wrest control from herstubborn, sometimes foolhardy, more often ingenious, and always arresting characters.

"All three elemental battles recounted by the masterly McPhee are unified by the most uncontrolled and stubborn of all forces: human nature."R. Z. Sheppard, Time

"It is difficult to put these stories aside. If the stories bear witness to the ultimate triumph of nature over human engineering, they also testify to the triumph over art over nature."Stephen J. Pyne, The New York Times Book Review (front page)

"This book is unmistakable McPhee: the silky narrative, with keen detail and sharp dialogue, the finely drawn characters, the nimble metaphors."Stephen MacDonald, The Wall Street Journal

"Some of [McPhee's] passages left me gasping for breath . . . This book gave me more pure enjoyment than anything I've read in a long time."Christopher Shaw, The Washington Post Book World

Synopsis:

The Control of Nature is John McPhee's bestselling account of places where people are locked in combat with nature. Taking us deep into these contested territories, McPhee details the strageties and tactics through which people attempt to control nature. Most striking is his depiction of the main contestants: nature in complex and awesome guises, and those attempting to wrest control from her - stubborn, sometimes foolhardy, more often ingenious, and always arresting characters.

About the Author

John McPhee is the author of twenty-six books, including Annals of the Former World, for which he received the Pulitzer Prize in 1999. He has been a staff writer at The New Yorker since 1965 and lives in Princeton, New Jersey.

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Rosalie Geo-Student 1, May 16, 2013 (view all comments by Rosalie Geo-Student 1)
In “The Control of Nature,” (1989) McPhee writes about “places in the world where people have been engaged in all-out battles with nature” and how the quest to posses control over nature is not an easy one (McPhee). “The Control of Nature” is a compilation of three extended essays that originally appeared in The New Yorker. In each of them McPhee examines a colossal problem, the grand engineering "solution" (attempt at human control), and the continuing fall-out from the very human choices society makes. He helped this reader better understand the current competition between the desires of society/humans and the land and its natural systems. Nature is undoubtably powerful, and while humans may seek total control, McPhee makes it clear that is not a possibility. There are major human/economic costs of ignoring the wishes of nature and we can only hope to at most manage it.

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Product Details

ISBN:
9780374522599
Author:
McPhee, John
Publisher:
Farrar Straus Giroux
Author:
McPhee, John
Location:
New York :
Subject:
General
Subject:
Nature
Subject:
Environmental Conservation & Protection
Subject:
Environmental protection
Subject:
Human Geography
Subject:
Nature -- Effect of human beings on.
Subject:
Environmental Conservation & Protection - General
Subject:
Sociology - General
Copyright:
Edition Description:
Trade Paperback
Series Volume:
no. 805
Publication Date:
19900931
Binding:
TRADE PAPER
Grade Level:
General/trade
Language:
English
Illustrations:
Yes
Pages:
288
Dimensions:
8.26 x 5.48 x 0.775 in

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Related Subjects

Fiction and Poetry » Literature » A to Z
History and Social Science » Geography » General
History and Social Science » Journalism » Journalists
History and Social Science » Sociology » General
Science and Mathematics » Environmental Studies » Environment
Science and Mathematics » Environmental Studies » General
Science and Mathematics » Nature Studies » Natural History » General

The Control of Nature Used Trade Paper
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Product details 288 pages Farrar Straus Giroux - English 9780374522599 Reviews:
"Synopsis" by ,
The Control of Nature is John McPhee's bestselling account of places where people are locked in combat with nature. Taking us deep into these contested territories, McPhee details the strageties and tactics through which people attempt to control nature. Most striking is his depiction of the main contestants: nature in complex and awesome guises, and those attempting to wrest control from her - stubborn, sometimes foolhardy, more often ingenious, and always arresting characters.

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