The Trout Pool Paradox by George Black
The American Lives of Three Rivers

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Synopsis

The very rivers that make the best trout streams - fast, cold, and clear - also gave birth to the American industrial revolution. Nowhere has this been more true than in an area not far from New York City where three Connecticut rivers, the Housatonic, the Shepaug, and the Naugatuck, have hosted an emblematic procession of industry, from the first woolen mills and iron foundries to the brass and rubber factories and hydroelectric plants of the twentieth century. Despite three hundred years of development, stretches of these rivers still thrive, offering great trout fishing and a postcard-perfect New England landscape.
The Trout Pool Paradox unravels a conundrum: why does the Naugatuck River teeter on the edge of extinction, while in a parallel valley just a few miles away, the Shepaug appears to flow in a pristine state? Probing this puzzle takes George Black deep into the complex ecology of rivers and into the heart of the human communities on their banks. Presenting intimately detailed stories of early industrialists, nineteenth-century naturalists, and contemporary river stewards and their adversaries, The Trout Pool Paradox throws brilliant light on our dynamic relationship with nature and on the conflicting demands we will make on our waterways in a postindustrial age.
 

About George Black

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GEORGE BLACK is an avid fly fisherman who in light traffic can make it from his New York apartment to the banks of the Shepaug in just under an hour and a half. He has written for the New York Times, the Los Angeles Times, and many other publications. He is the author of three books on foreign affairs.
 
Published April 7, 2004 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. 336 pages
Genres: History, Nature & Wildlife, Science & Math. Non-fiction

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and politically, as an important and intricate analysis of “the social, economic, and political food chain of the watershed.” Here, he discovers, was the epicenter of American iron and armament production from the Revolution to the Civil War, and here he discovers the trout pool paradox: “the pro...

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Tracing the region's history from the white settlers' arrival in the 17th century, Black shows how, thanks to a little luck, bad business and regional pride, the Shepaug remained more isolated than the Naugatuck, which became the power source (and the toilet) for Waterbury and its once booming br...

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