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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...

  • Mark
    May 18, 2017

    Okay, what do Asian carp, sea lamprey, homo sapiens, zebra mussels and climate change have in common? They are all destroying the mighty Great Lakes. Ouch! The five Great Lakes are one of the true won...

  • 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...

  • Karel Baloun
    Jun 10, 2017

    Best book I have ever read on invasive species, as well as a fantastic and entertaining adventure on the history of the Great Lakes.I thought I knew a lot about these lakes, nearby which I spent my co...

  • Mary Jo
    May 17, 2017

    Wow!! Fascinating and disturbing. I had intended to skim it. Instead I read every word. Well written and well researched with an amazing history of mankind's horrible treatment of these beautiful lake...

  • Maryellen Walter
    May 04, 2017

    Wow! This was such a great book and I couldn't put it down. Living not far from Lake Erie and reading what is going on with invasive species and the pollution made me shudder. While some of the topics...