Activist Polemic With Little Documentation – But The Pictures Are Stunning. Quite honestly, the description on this book as of the time I write this review roughly 10 days before publication (yes, meaning this is an advance reviewer copy with all that this entails) is quite misleading. The description makes it seem as though the reader is getting a well documented history of the history of water control and its current problems and potential solutions to those problems. Instead, this is an activist screed from the very beginning, with next to no documentation – just 7% of the text, when 20-30% is far more typical in my extensive experience.
Thus, as is very nearly always the case, one star was deducted for this lack of documentation. The second star is deducted because of the obvious slant and the strawman arguments so heavily used throughout the text. The third star is deducted for the inaccurate description provided by the publisher.
This is *a* history though, and from the activist, anti-dam perspective, a solid one in the mold of one preaching to the choir – as choirs never ask to see documentation, taking everything the preacher says on faith alone. Which is not science or journalism. 😉
And yet, the pictures provided throughout are truly stunning. Whoever took them did some truly excellent work in that space, and I can honestly recommend this book for the pictures alone. Which is why it doesn’t sink any further in the rating.
Overall a dense and blatantly biased yet still somewhat interesting read, and absolutely get this for the pictures alone. (Meaning you need a print or tablet version of this book. :D). Recommended.
This review of Cracked by Steven Hawley was originally written on April 21, 2023.