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This book offers a narrative portrait of the personalities, innovations and power struggles over water that have transformed human history from the irrigating civilisations of antiquity, Roman Empire, medieval China, Islam's golden age, the rise of the West and the Industrial Revolution to the politics, economics and environmental realities of one of the decisive challenges of 21st-century global society - fresh water scarcity.
A tour de force. . . . Thoughtful. . . . Well-written. . . . Solomon shows that when the incentives are right-where governments and markets are allowed to focus on the real costs of and opportunities for using water resources--much better management of water systems follows. - The National Interest "A sweeping history. . . . Solomon identifies plenty of obstacles to an equitable future, both institutional and geophysical, but remains optimistic that science-born solutions are in the offing. . . . A useful piece for readers interested in natural resources and the geopolitics attendant to them." - Kirkus Reviews "Steven Solomon has written a riveting historical manifesto on behalf of Water Power. His sweeping narrative, covering centuries, is awe-inspiring. I learned a tremendous amount of usable knowledge from this fine work." - Douglas Brinkley "Solomon's soaring account of our attempt to manage earth's total environment over millennia never neglects the individuals, inventions, and initiatives pivotal to that effort. Water is the most alarming and compelling call to action I've read since Rachel Carson's Silent Spring." - Linda Lear, author of Rachel Carson "Persuasive. . . . Unique. . . . Solomon surveys the current state of the world's water resources by region, making a compelling case that the U.S. and other leading democracies have untapped strategic advantages that will only become more significant as water becomes scarcer." - Publishers Weekly "A fascinating and provocative work of history that shines new light on what is probably the biggest environmental and political challenge of our time. Steven Solomon's brilliant book reveals how today's planetary crisis of freshwater scarcity is recasting the world order and the societies in which we live." - Robert F. Kennedy, Jr. "This volume will give you the background to understand the forces that will drive much of 21st century history." - Bill McKibben " Steve Solomon also defines the critical challenges of water - and the need for new thinking - for nations and peoples around the world, both for today and in the future." -Daniel Yergin, author of The Prize: the Epic Quest for Oil, Money, and Power - Daniel Yergin, author of The Prize: the Epic Quest for Oil, Money, and Power "Steven Solomon has written a riveting historical manifesto on behalf of Water Power. His sweeping narrative, covering centuries, is awe-inspiring. I learned a tremendous amount of usable knowledge from this fine work." - Douglas Brinkley, author of The Wilderness Warrior "Seeking to inspire us to place a higher value on water and establish wiser approaches to its use, Solomon has created a brilliantly discursive and compelling epic of humankind's most vital resource." - Booklist (starred review)