Download and read online Water to the Angels in PDF and EPUB The author of Last Train to Paradise tells the story of the largest public water project ever created—William Mulholland’s Los Angeles aqueduct—a story of Gilded Age ambition, hubris, greed, and one determined man who's vision shaped the future and continues to impact us today. In 1907, Irish immigrant William Mulholland conceived and built one of the greatest civil engineering feats in history: the aqueduct that carried water 223 miles from the Sierra Nevada mountains to Los Angeles—allowing this small, resource-challenged desert city to grow into a modern global metropolis. Drawing on new research, Les Standiford vividly captures the larger-then-life engineer and the breathtaking scope of his six-year, $23 million project that would transform a region, a state, and a nation at the dawn of its greatest century. With energy and colorful detail, Water to the Angels brings to life the personalities, politics, and power—including bribery, deception, force, and bicoastal financial warfare—behind this dramatic event. At a time when the importance of water is being recognized as never before—considered by many experts to be the essential resource of the twenty-first century—Water to the Angels brings into focus the vigor of a fabled era, the might of a larger than life individual, and the scale of a priceless construction project, and sheds critical light on a past that offers insights for our future. Water to the Angels includes 8 pages of photographs.
Download and read online Rivers in the Desert in PDF and EPUB Rivers in the Desert is the quintessential American story. It follows the remarkable career of William Mulholland, the visionary who engineered the rise of Los Angeles as the greatest American city west of the Mississippi. He sought to transform the sparse and barren desert into an inhabitable environment by designing the longest aqueduct in the Western Hemisphere, bringing water from the mountains to support a large city. Davis chronicles Mulholland’s dramatic ascension to wealth and fame, followed by his tragic downfall after the sudden collapse of the dam he had constructed to safeguard the water supply. The disaster, which killed at least five hundred people, caused his repudiation by allies, friends, and a previously adoring community. Epic in scope, Rivers in the Desert chronicles the history of Los Angeles and examines the tragic fate of the man who rescued it.
Download and read online William Mulholland and the Rise of Los Angeles in PDF and EPUB Mulholland presided over the creation of a water system that forever changed the course of Southern California's history. In the first full-length biography of the water and civil engineer, his granddaughter provides insights into the triumphant completion of the Owens Valley Aqueduct and the San Francisquito Dam tragedy that ended his career. Archival photos. 7 maps.
Download and read online Water and Power in PDF and EPUB It is not the purpose of this work to propose a specific format for the settlement of the city's current difficulties with the valley, to resolve the environmental questions associated with Los Angeles's proposed groundwater pumping program, or to promote any cause associated with the developing situation in the Owens Valley. But by performing the essential historical task of separating what happened from what did not, and by distinguishing in this way the choices which have been made from those which have yet to be decided, it is my hope that this effort will help to establish that common basis for understanding which is essential for the debate over specific issues to proceed most effectively. This book, then, is scarcely the last word on the Owens Valley conflict: the final chapter, after all, has yet to be written. The story that has emerged here is at once very different and more troubling than the conventional treatments of the conflict as a simplistic political morality play. Any attempt to deal with so controversial a subject, however, is almost certain to spark controversy itself. For that reason, with the exception of a small collection of private letters, this work is constructed entirely from the published documents and other materials available to the general public, anchoring the narrative in sources the reader can consult to trace the line of my argument on any point with which he or she may disagree. In addition, the work as a whole has been reviewed for technical accuracy by officials of the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power, although the department is in no way responsible for the content of this study or the conclusions drawn from it.
Download and read online Floodpath in PDF and EPUB Just before midnight on March 12, 1928, the St. Francis Dam, a twenty-story-high concrete structure just fifty miles north of Los Angeles, suddenly collapsed, releasing a devastating flood that roared fifty-four miles to the Pacific Ocean, destroying everything in its path. It was a horrific catastrophe, yet one which today is virtually forgotten. With research gathered over more than two decades, award-winning writer and filmmaker Jon Wilkman revisits the deluge that claimed nearly five hundred lives. A key figure is William Mulholland, the self-taught engineer who created an unprecedented water system, allowing Los Angeles to become America's second-largest city, and who was also responsible for the design and construction of the St. Francis Dam. Driven by eyewitness accounts and combining urban history with a life-and-death drama and a technological detective story, Floodpath grippingly reanimates the reality behind L.A. noir fictions such as the classic film Chinatown. In an era of climate change, increasing demand on water resources, and a neglected American infrastructure, the tragedy of the St. Francis Dam has never been more relevant.
Download and read online Last Train to Paradise in PDF and EPUB Last Train to Paradise is acclaimed novelist Les Standiford’s fast-paced and gripping true account of the extraordinary construction and spectacular demise of the Key West Railroad—one of the greatest engineering feats ever undertaken, destroyed in one fell swoop by the strongest storm ever to hit U.S. shores. In 1904, the brilliant and driven entrepreneur Henry Flagler, partner to John D. Rockefeller and the true mastermind behind Standard Oil, concocted the dream of a railway connecting the island of Key West to the Florida mainland, crossing a staggering 153 miles of open ocean—an engineering challenge beyond even that of the Panama Canal. “The financiers considered the project and said, Unthinkable. The engineers pondered the problems and from all came one verdict, Impossible. . . .” But build it they did, and the railroad stood as a magnificent achievement for twenty-two years. Once dismissed as “Flagler’s Folly,” it was heralded as “the Eighth Wonder of the World”—until a will even greater than Flagler’s rose up in opposition. In 1935, a hurricane of exceptional force, which would be dubbed “the Storm of the Century,” swept through the tiny islands, killing some 700 residents and workmen and washing away all but one sixty-foot section of track, on which a 320,000-pound railroad engine stood and “gripped its rails as if the gravity of Jupiter were pressing upon it.” Standiford brings the full force and fury of this storm to terrifying life. In spinning his saga of the railroad’s construction, Standiford immerses us in the treacherous world of the thousands of workers who beat their way through infested swamps, lived in fragile tent cities on barges anchored in the midst of daunting stretches of ocean, and suffered from a remarkable succession of three ominous hurricanes that killed many and washed away vast stretches of track. Steadfast through every setback, Flagler inspired a loyalty in his workers so strong that even after a hurricane dislodged one of the railroad’s massive pilings, casting doubt over the viability of the entire project, his engineers refused to be beaten. The question was no longer “Could it be done?” but “Can we make it to Key West on time?” to allow Flagler to ride the rails of his dream. Last Train to Paradise celebrates this crowning achievement of Gilded Age ambition, a sweeping tale of the powerful forces of human ingenuity colliding with the even greater forces of nature’s wrath. From the Hardcover edition.
Download and read online Eternity Street Violence and Justice in Frontier Los Angeles in PDF and EPUB “John Mack Faragher is one fine writer, bringing early L.A. to life as the setting for all manner of horrific killings and gruesome justice. Eternity Street will keep you up at night ruminating on the roots of American violence.”—Richard Wightman Fox, University of Southern California, author of Lincoln’s Body: A Cultural History Eternity Street tells the story of a violent place in a violent time: the rise of Los Angeles from its origins as a small Mexican pueblo. In a masterful narrative, John Mack Faragher relates a dramatic history of conquest and ethnic suppression, of collective disorder and interpersonal conflict. Eternity Street recounts the struggle to achieve justice amid the turmoil of a loosely governed frontier, and it delivers a piercing look at the birth of this quintessentially American city. In the 1850s, the City of Angels was infamous as one of the most murderous societies in America. Saloons teemed with rowdy crowds of Indians and Californios, Mexicans and Americans. Men ambled down dusty streets, armed with Colt revolvers and Bowie knives. A closer look reveals characters acting in unexpected ways: a newspaper editor advocating lynch law in the name of racial justice; hundreds of Latinos massing to attack the county jail, determined to lynch a hooligan from Texas. Murder and mayhem in Edenic southern California. "There is no brighter sun…no country where nature is more lavish of her exuberant fullness," an Angeleno wrote in 1853. "And yet, with all our natural beauties and advantages, there is no country where human life is of so little account. Men hack one another to pieces with pistols and other cutlery as if God's image were of no more worth than the life of one of the two or three thousand ownerless dogs that prowl about our streets and make night hideous." This is L.A. noir in the act of becoming.
Download and read online Thirsty in PDF and EPUB Thirsty is an exploration of Los Angeles' storied history in regards to water. Starting with William Mullholland and his aqueducts, through the 1926 collapse of the St. Francis Dam, which killed hundreds, and on through to the profound implications Los Angeles' path has for today. Where Marc Reiser's seminal 1986 bookCadillac Desert started, Marc Weingarten'sThirsty continues. Illuminating the complexities of the Los Angeles aquaduct system, the politics behind supplying America's second largest city with water from hundreds of mile away, and the disaster that haunted William Mullholland until his final days.
Download and read online Introduction to Water in California in PDF and EPUB This thoroughly engaging, concise book tells the story of California's most precious resource, tracing the journey of water in the state from the atmosphere to the snowpack to our faucets and foods. Along the way, we learn much about California itself as the book describes its rivers, lakes, wetlands, dams, and aqueducts and discusses the role of water in agriculture, the environment, and politics. Essential reading in a state facing the future with an overextended water supply, this fascinating book shows that, for all Californians, every drop counts. New to this updated edition: * Additional maps, figures, and photos * Expanded coverage of potential impacts to precipitation, snowpack, and water supply from climate change * Updated information about the struggle for water management and potential solutions * New content about sustainable groundwater use and regulation, desalination, water recycling, stormwater capture, and current proposals for water storage and diversion *Additional table summarizing water sources for 360 California cities and towns
Download and read online Western Times and Water Wars in PDF and EPUB Western Times and Water Wars chronicles more than a hundred years of tumultuous events in the history of California's Owens Valley. From the pioneer conquest of the native inhabitants to the infamous destruction of the valley's agrarian economy by water-hungry Los Angeles, this legendary setting is a microcosm of the development of the American West.
Download and read online L A Noir in PDF and EPUB The epic struggle for control of Los Angeles and the history of the 30s, 40s, and 50s in America's dream city. Now the FOX UK TV series MOB CITY. Mid-century Los Angeles. A city sold to the world as 'the white spot of America', a land of sunshine and orange groves, wholesome Midwestern values and Hollywood stars, protected by the world's most famous police force, the Dragnet-era LAPD. Behind this public image lies a hidden world of 'pleasure girls' and crooked cops, ruthless newspaper tycoons, corrupt politicians, and East Coast gangsters on the make. Into this underworld came two men - one L.A.'s most notorious gangster, the other its most famous police chief - each prepared to battle the other for the soul of the city. The Mob had to contend with downtown business (the Chandlers, of LA Times fame), City Hall, and above all the LAPD - and the story is gripping. In these pages you will find the kind of gangsters, cops, pols, and madams familiar from The Big Sleep, Chinatown, and LA Confidential - only this time it's non-fiction, a serious portrait of how the 20th century's most dangerously unaccountable, intrusive model of pre-emptive policing got started. It's a story with great resonance today.
Download and read online The King Of California in PDF and EPUB He grew more cotton than anyone on the planet, and he grew cities, too, including the first major retirement community in the country - Sun City, Arizona."
Download and read online We Are All Stardust in PDF and EPUB “What distinguishes scientists, in your eyes?”—Stefan Klein “First and foremost, curiosity.”—Roald Hoffmann, Nobel Prize–winning chemist When Stefan Klein, an acclaimed journalist, sits down to talk with 18 of the world’s leading scientists, he finds they’re driven by, above all, curiosity. When they talk about their work, they turn to what’s next, to what they still hope to discover. And they see inspiration everywhere: From the sports car that physicist Steven Weinberg says helped him on his quest for “the theory of everything” to the jazz musicians who gave psychologist Alison Gopnik new insight into raising children, they reveal how their paradigm-changing work entwines with their lives outside the lab. We hear from extraordinary natural and social scientists, including: Evolutionary biologist Richard Dawkins on ego and selflessness Primatologist Jane Goodall on chimpanzee behavior Neuroscientist V. S. Ramachandran on consciousness Geographer Jared Diamond on chance in history Anthropologist Sarah Hrdy on motherhood And cosmologist Martin Rees on how “ultimately we ourselves are stardust.”
Download and read online Cadillac Desert in PDF and EPUB "The definitive work on the West's water crisis." --Newsweek The story of the American West is the story of a relentless quest for a precious resource: water. It is a tale of rivers diverted and dammed, of political corruption and intrigue, of billion-dollar battles over water rights, of ecological and economic disaster. In his landmark book, Cadillac Desert, Marc Reisner writes of the earliest settlers, lured by the promise of paradise, and of the ruthless tactics employed by Los Angeles politicians and business interests to ensure the city's growth. He documents the bitter rivalry between two government giants, the Bureau of Reclamation and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, in the competition to transform the West. Based on more than a decade of research, Cadillac Desert is a stunning expose and a dramatic, intriguing history of the creation of an Eden--an Eden that may only be a mirage. From the Trade Paperback edition.
Download and read online The Water Seekers in PDF and EPUB