Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Review: Water for Gotham: A History by Gerard T. Koeppel

New York City has always struggled to meet the demands of it's citizens and visitors and few challenges have been as controversial and contentious as the search for adequate water. In Water for Gotham Koeppel related the story of the high minded idealists and the low down scoundrels (including a Vice President of the United States!) who alternated between working together and fighting among themselves to establish a permanent solution to this most vexing of the Big Apple's problems. While he does delve a bit into the engineering of the many solutions, this is more a book about the people and the stories of the many projects from precolonial times to the end of the nineteenth century when a steady supply was finally assured, at least for the moment.

This is a fairly fun book to read with it's many characters and story lines. It does at time slow down in the discussion of the political battles for that most important element of any construction project (money!) but most of the time it keeps up a good pace for the reader. There are adequate maps and illustrations to view. And it does have a happy ending... so far.

Link to LibraryThing entry for this book

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