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The Control of Nature

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The Control of Nature by McPhee, John, 9780374522599
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  • ISBN: 9780374522599 | 0374522596
  • Cover: Paperback
  • Copyright: 9/1/1990
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The Control of Natureis 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 McPheeis the author of more than 25 books, includingAnnals of the Former World, for which he received the Pulitzer Prize in Nonfiction in 1999. He has been a staff writer atThe New Yorkersince 1965 and lives in Princeton, New Jersey. McPhee'sEncounters with the ArchdruidandThe Curve of Binding Energywere both nominated for National Book Awards in the category of science. The Control of Natureis 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

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