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Battling the Inland Sea: American Political Cultur&hellip von Robert Lloyd Kelley
If you've ever taken a guided factory tour, you know the difference between someone reciting memorized facts and someone who can call upon a deep reservoir of knowledge, accumulated over a lifetime, for information that will illuminate a particular subject. Mr. Kelley clearly belongs in the latter class. Reading his book, it is apparent that we are only scratching the surface of what this remarkable historian knows about the complex interplay of history, politics, personality and nature that conspired to produce the water system northern California has today.
The story of California water is fascinating, although perhaps only of real interest to Californians. Nevertheless,… Mehr dazu
Bright Gem of the Western Seas: California, 1846-1&hellip von Peter Browning
"Bright Gem of the Western Seas" is a compilation of newspaper articles written by James Carson for the San Joaquin Republican from January 17 to May 29, 1852, and reports on the Tulare Valley by George Derby. The articles written by Carson occupy the bulk of the volume, and are by far the more colorful and illuminating.
Mr. Carson holds a minor place in California history, having been an early inhabitant, gold panner, and explorer for whom some landmarks are named. He is not writing as someone concerned with his place in history, as a Stanford, Ralston or Hearst might have been. He is just telling it "like it is," or at least as he sees things to be… Mehr dazu
To Engineer Is Human: The Role of Failure in Succe&hellip von Henry Petroski
I should begin by saying that I like this book, that I enjoy Mr. Petroski's writing style, and agree with his premise -- that we stand to learn more by studying a single failure than a thousand successes. Mr. Petroski makes an ample case for this through the judicious use of historic failures, some of which are more historic than others (one example, from ancient Greece, involves methods of storing marble columns).
To his credit, Mr. Petroski's writing style is approachable by non-engineers, a feat that is probably worth at least one star all by itself. But it is a shortcoming that considerable detail has been sacrificed, perhaps in an effort to make the text palatable to a… Mehr dazu