“An original and thought-provoking exploration of the sinuous course that water has carved through our economic and political landscape.” —Gerard Helferich, Wall Street Journal
In a powerful work of environmental history, Martin Doyle tells the epic story of America and its rivers, from the U.S. Constitution’s roots in interstate river navigation, to the failure of the levees in Hurricane Katrina and the water wars in the west. Through his own travels and his encounters with experts all over the country—a Mississippi River tugboat captain, an Erie Canal lock operator, a project manager buying water rights for farms along the Colorado River—Doyle reveals the central role rivers have played in American history and how vital they are to its future.
About the Author
Martin Doyle is director of the Water Policy Program at the Nicholas Institute for Environmental Policy Solutions and a professor of river science and policy at Duke University’s Nicholas School of the Environment. He lives in North Carolina.
Move over Cadillac Desert and The Last Oasis: a new classic on American rivers has arrived.
— James Salzman, author of Drinking Water
Original… [and] poignant.
— Robert Glennon - New York Times Book Review
Authoritative.… Even readers with an allergy to learning history will come away with a greater understanding of how rivers have literally made our country.
— Tracy Ross - Outside
In [Doyle’s] telling, rivers become a lens on federalism, energy and conservation—a rolling narrative.
The Source is one of those rare books you look up from and see with fresh eyes.
— Dan Flores, best-selling author of Coyote America