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Slide Mountain

Or, The Folly of Owning Nature

Slide Mountain
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US$ 21.56
The drive to own the natural world in twentieth-century America seems virtually limitless. Signs of this national penchant for possessing nature are everywhere - from suburban picket fences to elaborate schemes to own underground water, clouds, even the ocean floor. Yet, as Theodore Steinberg demonstrates in this compelling, witty look at Americans' attempts to master the environment, nature continually turns these efforts into folly. In a rich, narrative style recalling the work of John McPhee, Steinberg tours America to explore some of the more unusual dilemmas that have arisen in our struggle to possess nature. Beginning along the Missouri River, Steinberg recounts the battle for three thousand acres of land the river carved from a Nebraska Indian reservation and deposited in Iowa. Then he travels to Louisiana, where an army of lawyers butted heads over whether Six Mile Lake was actually a lake or a stream. He continues to Arizona to investigate who owned the underground, then to Pennsylvania's Blue Ridge Mountains to see who claimed the clouds. He ends in crowded New York City with Donald Trump's struggle for air rights.
University of California Press; November 1996
225 pages; ISBN 9780520918467
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