Water – by Steven Solomon

Water – the Epic Struggle for Wealth, Power, and Civilization by Steven Solomon is a long, mediocre read. Solomon is a journalist, and many times the feel of the book was a very long newspaper article. Solomon attempts to show that the control of water causes the rise and fall of nations. Be it water for agriculture, or trade, or naval power, or exploration, or transportation, or industry…I think his theme was too wide, and he may have had ambitions to write the next “Guns, Germs & Steel” but didn’t.

An interesting point, when talking about WW2, you would think he would talk a lot about the huge naval battles, but he focused on the dams that America built in the 30s, that provided cheap power, that helped the industrial might of America win the war.

There was some BAD prose, “nomadic steppe cousins” (pg 151).

I wish he had discussed the man made ecological disasters of Aral Sea, and Lake Chad more.

Good quotes from the American West, “Water flows uphill to money” and Mark Twain’s “Whiskey’s for drinking. Water’s for fighting.”


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