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The Death and Life of the Great Lakes
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The Death and Life of the Great Lakes


A master reporter’s landmark work of contemporary ecology.

The Great Lakes hold 20 percent of the world’s freshwater, and they provide food, work, and weekend fun for tens of millions of Americans. Yet they are under threat as never before.

In a work of narrative reporting in the vein of Rachel Carson and Elizabeth Kolbert, prize-winning reporter Dan Egan delivers an eye-opening portrait of our nation’s greatest natural resource as it faces ecological calamity. He tells the story of the St. Lawrence Seaway and the Chicago ship canal—good ideas in their time that have had horrendous consequences. He explains how invasive species such as Asian carp, sea lamprey, and zebra mussels have decimated native species and endanger the entire United States. And he examines new risks, such as unsafe drinking water, the threat of water diversions, and “dead zones” that cover hundreds of square miles of water—while showing how the Great Lakes can be restored and preserved for generations to come.

Title:The Death and Life of the Great Lakes
Format Type:Hardcover
Number of Pages:384 pages
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    The Death and Life of the Great Lakes Reviews

  • Hadrian
    Apr 15, 2017

    The five Great Lakes of North America are one of the world's great treasures. Their surface area is larger than the United Kingdom, they contain one-fifth of the world's fresh water supply, and the la...

  • Nancy
    Dec 04, 2016

    Dan Egan's book The Death and Life of the Great Lakes was distressing to read. I know these lakes. I have lived near the Great Lakes for almost 50 years. I grew up along the Niagara River and have liv...

  • Gail Baugniet
    Dec 07, 2016

    My first 23 years were spent around, on, or in Lake Michigan, one of the "best" of the Great Lakes. How true it is that you don't know what you've got 'til it's gone, as was proved to the fishing indu...

  • Art
    Feb 12, 2017

    “This story picks up after the Cuyahoga River caught fire in 1969,” said Dan Egan, speaking to a surprisingly packed, standing-room-only crowd at Milwaukee’s largest indie bookshop on Friday nig...

  • Chadwick
    Dec 18, 2016

    "Like generations of the past, we know the damage we are doing to the lakes, and we know how to begin to stop it; unlike generations of the past, we aren't doing it."For those of us who love the Great...

  • Jeremy
    Mar 13, 2017

    This wonderful and timely book is a great read about a timely subject. The writing is snappy and engaging, and can transform sometimes fairly technical discussions into a captivating study. What emerg...

  • Matthew Mente
    Feb 08, 2017

    This book is fascinating! It reminds me of one of those documentaries you stumble across on a marginally-familiar topic where you're completely drawn in, unable to stop watching.The book dives deep (p...

  • Brandon Moskun
    Mar 25, 2017

    Excellent book on the problems facing the Great Lakes. A depressing read if you grew up or live around the lakes, but its written really well. ...

  • Christina Dudley
    Nov 16, 2016

    Oh my gosh! It's been a while since I swished left on my Kindle and was SO DISAPPOINTED to find I'd finished a book. In his acknowledgements, author Dan Egan credits his editor with pushing him "to el...

  • Meghan
    Feb 15, 2017

    I received this book free via Goodread's Giveaways.Wasn't too sure what I was getting into when I started this book because I am West-coast native, what could I care about the Great Lakes. But the aut...