The Promise of the Grand Canyon by John F. Ross
John Wesley Powell's Perilous Journey and His Vision for the American West

No critic rating

Waiting for minimum critic reviews

See 1 Critic Review

A sturdy but not entirely fresh study for readers interested in the fate of Western water and in the settlement of the West and a good place to start learning about a key figure.
-Kirkus

Synopsis

A timely, thrilling account of a man who, as an explorer, dared to lead the first successful expedition down the Colorado through the Grand Canyon--and, as an American visionary, waged a bitterly-contested campaign for environmental sustainability in the American West.

When John Wesley Powell became the first person to navigate the entire Colorado River, through the Grand Canyon, he completed what Lewis and Clark had begun nearly 70 years earlier--the final exploration of continental America. The son of an abolitionist preacher, a Civil War hero (who lost an arm at Shiloh), and a passionate naturalist and geologist, in 1869 Powell tackled the vast and dangerous gorge carved by the Colorado River and known today (thanks to Powell) as the Grand Canyon.

With The Promise of the Grand Canyon, John Ross recreates Powell's expedition in all its glory and terror, but his second (unheralded) career as a scientist, bureaucrat, and land-management pioneer concerns us today. Powell was the first to ask: how should the development of the west be shaped? How much could the land support? What was the role of the government and private industry in all of this? He began a national conversation about sustainable development when most everyone else still looked upon land as an inexhaustible resource. Though he supported irrigation and dams, his prescient warnings forecast the 1930s dustbowl and the growing water scarcities of today. Practical, yet visionary, Powell didn't have all the answers, but was first to ask the right questions.
 

About John F. Ross

See more books from this Author
John F. Ross is executive editor of American Heritage magazine and a former member of the Board of Editors at Smithsonian magazine, where he wrote six cover stories. His articles have been published in Reader’s Digest, Parade, the New York Times, Newsweek, the Washington Post, the Sunday Telegraph, and more. He has appeared on more than fifty radio and television programs and has keynoted conferences across the continent. His organization of the most northern canoe trip ever taken earned him a membership in the Explorers Club. On assignment he has dogsledded with the Polar Inuit in northwestern Greenland, technical mountain climbed in Siberia, and dived 3,000 feet in the Galápagos. He is the author of Living Dangerously and lives in Bethesda, Maryland.From the Hardcover edition.
 
Published July 3, 2018 by Viking. 400 pages
Genres: History, Nature & Wildlife, Science & Math, Travel. Non-fiction
Add Critic Review

Critic reviews for The Promise of the Grand Canyon
All: 1 | Positive: 0 | Negative: 1

Kirkus

Below average
on May 01 2018

A sturdy but not entirely fresh study for readers interested in the fate of Western water and in the settlement of the West and a good place to start learning about a key figure.

Read Full Review of The Promise of the Grand Cany... | See more reviews from Kirkus

Rate this book!

Add Review
×