Holding Back the River

“An illuminating look at the people and policies working to tame America’s rivers… with meticulous reporting and insightful analysis… Anyone concerned with the myriad issues surrounding the manipulation of waterways will want to take a look.”—Publishers Weekly

“I congratulate Tyler Kelley. He has written on the one hand a good and sometimes painful story—or stories—showing us at our most human, and on the other an insightful and important examination of our policy toward rivers. This is a fine book.” —John M. Barry, author of Rising Tide and The Great Influenza

“With careful, artful reporting and an instinct for the plot lines laid out by flowing water, Tyler J. Kelley has written a highly readable book. He takes two important subjects–the middle part of our country, and its water-related infrastructure–and shows how fascinating they are. “Holding Back the River” is a wonderful achievement.”—New Yorker writer Ian Frazier, author of Travels in Siberia and On the Rez

What a mess we’ve made! How hard can it be to let water run downhill? Yet here is Tyler J. Kelley’s riveting account of the consequences of human attempts to channel, divert, confine, and conquer the mid-continental plumbing of North America. Not an easy book to write, this is a story everyone needs to read, especially as we blunder further into the great unknown of climate change.” –– Eric W. Sanderson, author of MannahattaA Natural History of New York City and Terra NovaThe New World After Oil, Cars, and Suburbs

Out 4/20/21. Available here and here and here.