Cadillac Desert: The American West and Its Disappearing Water Chapter Abstracts for Teachers

Marc Reisner
This set of Lesson Plans consists of approximately 126 pages of tests, essay questions, lessons, and other teaching materials.
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Introduction & Chapter 1

• Cadillac Desert: The American West and Its Disappearing Water begins with the author's description of the American West as "a civilization whose success was achieved on the pretension that natural obstacles do not exist" - or, as he calls it in the book’s Introduction, "A Semidesert with a Desert Heart."

• Reisner introduces the environmentalist agenda through which he explores the history of development in the West, following its major influences individually through time rather than chronologically.

• Chapter One, titled “A Country of Illusion,” describes the discovery of the American West by the Europeans.

• The first Spanish explorers searching for El Dorado found the continent hostile and unusable.

• After the United States purchased the land, they sent in survey expeditions to research and evaluate it.

• The 1804, Lewis and Clark expedition resulted in an uneasy ambivalence toward the West: every "fertile prairie" stood in stark contrast to...

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