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

Marc Reisner
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This test consists of 5 short answer questions, 10 short essay questions, and 1 (of 3) essay topics.

Short Answer Questions

1. In what year was the Hoover Dam dedicated?

2. William Mulholland’s father held what profession?

3. When was William Mulholland born?

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

5. Where was Harry Chandler born?

Short Essay Questions

1. What awards has Marc Reisner earned for his environmental and writing work?

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

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

4. How have new historians of the American West spent their focus differently than the traditionalists?

5. When was the Hoover Dam constructed? Where is it located?

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

7. How does the author describe Los Angeles’s power in its struggle for the Colorado River in Chapter Four?

8. What publication does the author describe which was written by John Wesley Powell?

9. How have historians traditionally spent their focus in regard to the American West?

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

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

Discuss William Mulholland and Fred Eaton. What impact did William Mulholland have on the city of Los Angeles? What dedications to Mulholland exist in Los Angeles today? How is he currently perceived by Californians?

Essay Topic 2

Discuss the impact of the Rocky Mountain Fur Trading Company in the settlement of the West. When was the company developed? What furs were the trappers seeking in crossing over the Mississippi? What environmental impact did they have there?

Essay Topic 3

Discuss Major General William F. Cassidy, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, and the Bureau of Reclamation. Why does the author consider these two bureaucracies to be “rivals in crime”? On what date did Major General William F. Cassidy give a speech titled “The Future of Water Development” and what did this speech entail?

(see the answer keys)

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