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The Dreamt Land: Chasing Water and Dust…
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The Dreamt Land: Chasing Water and Dust Across California (edició 2019)

de Mark Arax (Autor)

MembresRessenyesPopularitatValoració mitjanaMencions
1073206,947 (4.5)1
"A vivid, searching journey into California's complicated relationship to its water, from the Gold Rush to today -- an epic story of the struggle to overcome the constraints of nature Mark Arax is from a family of Central Valley farmers -- a journalist with deep ties to the land, who has watched as the battles over water have intensified even as the state lurches from drought to flood and back again. In The Dreamt Land he travels the state to explore the century-old water distribution system that is straining to keep up with California's relentless growth. This is a heartfelt, beautifully written book about land and the people who work on it, from the gold miners to the ranchers to the small farmers and today's big ag. Since the beginning, Californians have redirected rivers, drilled ever-deeper wells, and pushed the water supplies past their limits. The Dreamt Land brings to life the enterprising figures who have made a fortune off the land, and used that wealth to increase their leverage, as well as the people who have been left behind. It's a story of politics and hubris, but above all it's about the unceasing human ability to make things happen, and to endure in a hostile environment"--… (més)
Membre:Nozdeuce
Títol:The Dreamt Land: Chasing Water and Dust Across California
Autors:Mark Arax (Autor)
Informació:Knopf (2019), 576 pages
Col·leccions:La teva biblioteca
Valoració:*****
Etiquetes:Cap

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The Dreamt Land: Chasing Water and Dust Across California de Mark Arax

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I ran across this book as I prepared to teach a course on western water history. It does a great job of explaining the unexplained -- San Joaquin Valley agriculture. A region that most people, including Californians living on the coast, don't understand.

Where ground water is pumped from deeper and deeper depths, causing the land to subside. Where local rainfall is seen as the enemy -- but rain and snow in northern California is their friend. Where water running to the ocean is seen as a waste. Where the federal government's protection of endangered species is criticized, yet the federal government's deep pockets that built an incredible system of dams and canals keeps them in business. Where permanent nut crops (almonds, pistachios) replace seasonal crops (tomatoes, melons, etc), even knowing that it will difficult to water the trees when the next drought occurs. Where the poorest immigrants live next door to farms owned by millionaires or billionaires.

A good book to sit alongside Cadillac Desert and A River No More. ( )
  exfed | Mar 28, 2020 |
One of the very best books about California, ever. It ranks with Joan Didion. It’s essentially about water, because the whole story of California is essentially about water. But the scope of the story is vast.

When I was moving to Fresno ten years ago I went looking for books to explain the place to me and found Mark Arax’s collection of long journalism from when he covered the Central Valley for the Los Angeles Times, West of the West. That led me to his book about trying to understand the life and death by murder of his father, a Fresno bar keeper, In My Father’s Name. Now he has written the best general-interest book on California water, supplanting Marc Reisner’s Cadillac Desert from 1986.

The section of the book about the Resnicks, the biggest farmers in the United States, was published here (https://story.californiasunday.com/resnick-a-kingdom-from-dust) earlier this year. Go read it. The rest of the book is as good, includes more history, and is even more bonkers.

I subscribe to the economic dictum called Stein’s Law, paraphrased: Things that can’t go on forever, don’t. The current level of water exploitation in California by industrial agriculture can’t go on forever. And that’s the current level—it continues to expand. ( )
  k6gst | Feb 12, 2020 |
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"A vivid, searching journey into California's complicated relationship to its water, from the Gold Rush to today -- an epic story of the struggle to overcome the constraints of nature Mark Arax is from a family of Central Valley farmers -- a journalist with deep ties to the land, who has watched as the battles over water have intensified even as the state lurches from drought to flood and back again. In The Dreamt Land he travels the state to explore the century-old water distribution system that is straining to keep up with California's relentless growth. This is a heartfelt, beautifully written book about land and the people who work on it, from the gold miners to the ranchers to the small farmers and today's big ag. Since the beginning, Californians have redirected rivers, drilled ever-deeper wells, and pushed the water supplies past their limits. The Dreamt Land brings to life the enterprising figures who have made a fortune off the land, and used that wealth to increase their leverage, as well as the people who have been left behind. It's a story of politics and hubris, but above all it's about the unceasing human ability to make things happen, and to endure in a hostile environment"--

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