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Against the Tide: The Battle for America's Beaches

By: Cornelia Dean

336 pages, 27 photos

Columbia University Press

Paperback | Apr 2001 | #118201 | ISBN: 0231084196
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NHBS Price: £21.99 $29/€25 approx
Hardback | Jun 1999 | #94418 | ISBN: 0231084188
Temporarily out of stock: order now to get this when available Details
NHBS Price: £65.99 $87/€75 approx

About this book

&i;`Cornelia Dean has done a terrific job in presenting this material, some of it very complex, in highly readable form and in clear, crisp prose. I look at this book doing the same thing for coastal conservation (and appealing to the same audience) as Marc Reisner's seminal Cadillac Desert did for Western water issues, the Bureau of Reclamation, and the building of dams. It takes an issue we all think we know (who hasn't been to the beach?) and turns the conventional wisdom on its head.'&o;David Williamson, The Nature Conservancy

Against the Tide flashes like a metaphorical lighthouse to warn scientists, policymakers, and the public about the state of the shoreline. -- Tom Drake Science Entertaining and thoroughly thought provoking. American Scientist Dean powerfully argues [that] America may face a future of beachless beach towns. Time Magazine Dean has done a first-rate job of making coastal conservation interesting. Against the Tide would be good beach reading. -- David Rains Wallace New York Times Book Review To anyone interested in the preservation of the nation's beaches this is the handbook -- incredibly well researched and interestingly presented. And that 'anyone'should be all of us for our beaches are a national heritage and a precious resource that we owe our future generations. -- Walter Cronkite Engaging yet informative... Y[oung] A[dult]s interested in environmental careers and beach lovers of all ages will get caught up in this book. Logically arranged and written in a straightforward style, it enables readers to look at the familiar with new and knowledgeable eyes. School Library Journal Dean has written a workmanlike description of the ongoing struggle to turn back the tide on America's beaches by pinning down our shorelines -- defying their essential nature, a continual dance of destruction and renewal. -- Heather Dewar The Japan Times Dean's thoughtful and eloquent plea to save America's beaches from overdevelopment and erosion is destined to be a classic of environmental writing. Library Journal Best Books of 1999 For anyone who has ever walked along a beach in that Zen-like state that only beach walks provide, do not miss this book. Especially if you're a taxpayer... I honestly think this could be one of those rare books that changes government policy -- at local, state, and federal levels. -- Molly Ivins Against the Tide should be a potent weapon in the environmental effort to save what remains of our natural coastline. Everyone who reads it will be forcefully reminded that the Bible was right: it is not a good idea to build your house upon the sand. -- Kate Barnes The Amicus Journal An eloquent, forceful plea to save America's rapidly eroding beaches and coastline. Publisher's Weekly Dean knows that the best advocacy is to lay out the whole story, all sides, fairly and neutrally... She has made her case so clearly and cleanly, with such persuasive examples, and so much credit where it is due, that I'm convinced. -- Ann Finkbeiner New York Times An engaging overview of the powerful natural forces at work on the beach and why the various manmade strategies designed to alter them either don't work at all or don't work as intended. -- John Manuel The Raleigh News & Observer Beachgoers, coastal residents, planners, and anyone with a love of the sea will enjoy reading this fascinating book about historic coastal communities, the ravages of past winter storms and summer hurricanes, and our often futile attempts to protect oceanfront property while preserving the beach. -- Margaret Ann Aycock Library Journal Dean's opening chapter on the hurricane that flattened Galveston in 1900... is worth the price of the book. Discover Dean... covers considerable territory as she details the persistent efforts of developers and developer-prodded government agencies to 'armor' the coast against the action of wind and waves. But 'nature,' she notes, usually 'has the last word,' undercutting seawalls and toppling houses. -- Michael Kenney Boston Globe Dean tells a gripping tale, drawing on her knowledge of the coasts of Massachusetts and New York, and on the experts who have spent a generation learning the working of sea and sand. -- Jeff Hecht New Scientist


1. September, Remember2. The Great Beach3. Armor4. Unkind Cuts5. Unnatural Appetite6. Cause and Effect7. The Big One8. Clues9. Constituency of Ignorance10. For SaleEpilogue

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Cornelia Dean is science editor of the New York Times, where she writes frequently on coastal issues. She is also heard regularly on WQEW and WQXR's "Health Times."

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