Cadillac Desert: The American West and Its Disappearing Water Test | Mid-Book Test - Medium

Marc Reisner
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This test consists of 5 multiple choice questions, 5 short answer questions, and 10 short essay questions.

Multiple Choice Questions

1. What is the title of the book’s Introduction?
(a) First Causes.
(b) Chinatown.
(c) Rivals in Crime.
(d) A Semidesert with a Desert Heart.

2. William Mulholland’s father held what profession?
(a) Postal clerk.
(b) Teacher.
(c) Doctor.
(d) Car salesman.

3. What does the author claim in the Introduction that, “because of their moisture requirements,” are our physiological counterparts in the kingdom of plants?
(a) Lichens.
(b) Mushrooms.
(c) Trees.
(d) Ferns.

4. Almost all of the rain in Napa Valley falls between which months?
(a) August to December.
(b) November to March.
(c) March to July.
(d) May to September.

5. The narrator states in Chapter Four that “If the Colorado River suddenly stopped flowing, you would have” how many “years of carryover capacity in the reservoirs before you had to evacuate most of southern California and Arizona and a good portion of Colorado, New Mexico, Utah, and Wyoming”?
(a) 22.
(b) 15.
(c) 11.
(d) 4.

Short Answer Questions

1. According to the author in the Introduction, “Modern Utah, where large-scale irrigation has been going on longer than anywhere else,” has what percent of its land area under cultivation?

2. How many acres of marsh and swamp forest were converted to farms in Arkansas and Louisiana, according to the author in the Introduction?

3. The Sierra Nevada foothills are how many miles across the Central Valley from San Francisco?

4. When did Francisco Vásquez de Coronado set out on horseback from Mexico with a couple of hundred men, driving into the uncharted North, according to the author in Chapter One?

5. When was William Mulholland born?

Short Essay Questions

1. What reaction did the public and lawmakers have to the advice of John Wesley Powell regarding settlement in the West? What was the result?

2. What genre is Cadillac Desert? What does Marc Reisner reveal through his approach in the book?

3. What is significant about the movement toward revisionist history?

4. When did the perception of the American West as a desert begin to change? Who helped initiate this change?

5. What did Arizona do in response to California’s challenge for the Colorado River?

6. How was Cadillac Desert received upon its first publication?

7. How does the author describe the Colorado River in the beginning of Chapter Four?

8. How does the author describe the American West in Chapter One?

9. Who was General John Wesley Powell? How does the author describe him?

10. What ideological dualism is implied by the title of Cadillac Desert?

(see the answer keys)

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