Friday, September 24, 2010

Colossus by Michael Hiltzik

I have really enjoyed my NOOK and I truly have found more time to read since I purchased it. It is easy to carry and read. What is not as easy to carry? At 512 pages, how about Colossus: Hoover Dam and the Making of the American Century by Michael Hiltzik? The subject matter seemed interesting but potentially dry. With the NOOK, I was able to download the first chapter or so for free. I found Hiltzik's style to be engaging and the rest of the book was a great and surprisingly quick read.

This tome examined the social, political, geological and labor aspects of the planning and construction of the Hoover Dam. The lives of the men lost, the strikes which were crushed and a whites-only hiring policy were among the many social wrongs which occurred during the Boulder Canyon Project (despite being erected in the Black Canyon).

As a law student, my property professor spent nearly three days teaching his passion: water rights. Hiltzik covered much of the same material in an understandable and succinct few pages. The distinction between prior appropriation and riparian rights was a major issue for the seven states who take their water from the Colorado River basin; the debate itself nearly prevented the dam's construction.

Anyway, Collosus is an excellent and easy read. I'd highly recommend it!

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