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. What were a series of conflicts between the city of Los Angeles, farmers and ranchers in the Owens Valley of Eastern California, and environmentalists called?

2. What from San Bernardino found their way to the 1884 World’s Fair in New Orleans, where they attracted crowds?

3. Which Texas historian wrote an article for Harper’s entitled “The American West, Perpetual Mirage”?

4. When was the Bayano Dam built?

5. What mountain range described in the Introduction stretches approximately 160 miles from the Utah-Idaho border, south through central Utah in the western United States?

Short Essay Questions

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

2. Describe the author of the book. What relevant professional experience does Reisner have to ecology?

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

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

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

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

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

8. What are the historical foci of Marc Reisner in writing Cadillac Desert?

9. How did William Mulholland’s character and career develop in his later years?

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

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

Discuss the impact of damming in the American South. Why did the South construct as many dams as it did? How do these dams differ from those in California and the West? What has been their impact on the environment?

Essay Topic 2

Discuss the author, Marc Reisner, and the concept and genre of historical revisionism. What is historical causation and how does it apply to revisionist writings? When was Marc Reisner director of communications for the Natural Resources Defense Council? What did this position entail?

Essay Topic 3

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?

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