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Cadillac Desert: The American West and Its Disappearing Water Essay | Critical Essay #3

Marc Reisner
This Study Guide consists of approximately 41 pages of chapter summaries, quotes, character analysis, themes, and more - everything you need to sharpen your knowledge of Cadillac Desert.
This section contains 688 words
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Critical Essay #3

In the following review, Rowley commends Cadillac Desert for exposing problems surrounding desert communities, but disagrees with Reisner's suggestion that the United States should leave those areas as Nature intended.

When the United States expanded across the continent in the 19th century, its landed empire claimed the arid expanses of the American West. Refusing to accept the limitations that aridity placed on the region, American enterprise used science, technology, and heavy capital investment to overcome the obvious environmental restrictions that "the Great American Desert" placed on agricultural and industrial development. The result was western irrigation, extended ditch water delivery systems, big dam projects, and massive urban growth during and after World War II. The story is impressive.

Some have not been so impressed. John Wesley Powell, in his Report on the Arid Lands of the American West (1878), laid the foundation for a "desertification critique" of western development. At...

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This section contains 688 words
(approx. 3 pages at 300 words per page)
Purchase our Cadillac Desert: The American West and Its Disappearing Water Study Guide
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Cadillac Desert: The American West and Its Disappearing Water from BookRags and Gale's For Students Series. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.
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