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Book Title: A Dangerous Place: California's Unsettling Fate|
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Reader ratings: 3.7
The author of the book: Marc Reisner
Edition: Penguin Books
Date of issue: July 27th 2004
ISBN 13: 9780142003831
Format files: PDF
The size of the: 5.70 MB
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Writing with a signature command of his subject and with compelling resonance, Marc Reisner leads us through California’s improbable rise from a largely desert land to the most populated state in the nation, fueled by an economic engine more productive than all of Africa. Reisner believes that the success of this last great desert civilization hinges on California’s denial of its own inescapable fate: Both the Los Angeles and San Francisco Bay areas sit astride two of the most violently seismic zones on the planet. The earthquakes that have already rocked California were, according to Reisner, a mere prologue to a future cataclysm that will result in immense destruction. Concluding with a hypothetical but chillingly realistic description of what such a disaster would look like, A Dangerous Place mixes science, history, and cultural commentary in a haunting work of profound importance.
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Read information about the authorMarc Reisner was an American environmentalist and writer best known for his book Cadillac Desert, a history of water management in the American West.
He was born in Minneapolis, Minnesota, the son of a lawyer and a scriptwriter, and graduated from Earlham College in 1971. For a time he was on the staffs of Environmental Action and the Population Institute in Washington, D.C. Starting in 1972, he worked for seven years as a staff writer and director of communications for the Natural Resources Defense Council in New York. In 1979 he received an Alicia Patterson Journalism Fellowship, which enabled him to conduct research and write Cadillac Desert, which was first published in 1986. The book was a finalist for both the National Book Critics' Circle Award and the Bay Area Book Reviewers' Award (BABRA) that same year. In 1999, a Modern Library panel of authors and critics included it on a list of the 100 most notable English-language works of nonfiction of the 20th century. It was later made into a documentary film series that premiered nationwide on PBS nationwide in 1997 and won a Columbia University/Peabody Award.
He went on to write additional books and helped develop a PBS documentary on water management. He was featured as an interviewee in Stephen Ives's 1996 PBS documentary series The West, which was produced by Ken Burns. In 1997 he published a discussion paper for the American Farmland Trust on water policy and farmland protection. Shortly before he died, he had won a Pew Charitable Trusts Fellowship to support efforts to restore Pacific salmon habitat through dam removal.
Reisner was also involved in efforts to promote sustainable agronomy and green entrepreneurship. In 1990, in partnership with the Nature Conservancy, he co-founded the Ricelands Habitat Partnership, an innovative program designed to enhance waterfowl habitat on California farmlands and reduce pollution by flooding rice fields in winter instead of burning the rice straw, as was then the common practice. He also joined in efforts to help California rice farmers develop eco-friendly products from compressed rice straw, and a separate project to promote water conservation through water transfers and groundwater banking.
For a time, Reisner was a Distinguished Visiting Professor at the University of California at Davis, lecturing on the relationship between urbanization and environmental concerns.
Reisner died of colon cancer in 2000 at his home in San Anselmo, California, survived by his wife, biochemist Lawrie Mott, and their two daughters. His final book, A Dangerous Place, was completed before his death but did not appear in print until 2003.
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