Hoover Dam: An American Adventure by Joseph E. Stevens

By Joseph E. Stevens

Within the spring of 1931, in a rugged desolate tract canyon at the Arizona-Nevada border, a military of workmen started the most tricky and bold development tasks ever undertaken—the building of Hoover Dam. throughout the worst years of the good melancholy as many as 5 thousand employees toiled twenty-four hours an afternoon, seven days per week, to erect the large constitution that will harness the Colorado River and remodel the yankee West.Construction of the large dam was once a triumph of human ingenuity, but the whole tale of this huge undertaking hasn't ever been informed. Now, in an engrossing, fast paced narrative, Joseph E. Stevens recounts the gripping saga of Hoover Dam. Drawing on a wealth of fabric, together with manuscript collections, govt records, modern newspaper and journal bills, and private interviews and correspondence with women and men who have been concerned with the development, he brings the Hoover Dam event to life.Described right here in dramatic aspect are the lethal dangers the paintings crews confronted as they hacked and blasted the dam’s beginning out of reliable rock; the sour political battles and violent hard work unrest that threatened to close the activity down; the deprivation and grinding worry continued through the staff’ households; the dam developers’ playing, ingesting, and whoring sprees in within reach Las Vegas; and the stirring triumphs and searing moments of terror because the giant concrete wedge rose inexorably from the canyon floor.Here, too, is an unforgettable forged of characters: Henry Kaiser, Warren Bechtel, and Harry Morrison, the formidable, headstrong building executives who gambled fortune and reputation at the Hoover Dam agreement; Frank Crowe, the bright, obsessed box engineer who relentlessly drove the workforce to complete the dam and a part years sooner than agenda; Sims Ely, the irascible, teetotaling eccentric who governed Boulder urban, the straightlaced corporation city created for the dam employees by way of the government; and plenty of extra women and men whose braveness and sacrifice, greed and frailty, made the dam’s building an outstanding human, in addition to technological, adventure.Hoover Dam is a compelling, impossible to resist account of a rare American epic.

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He looked again at the heavily silted banks of the river and at the desert plain below and was struck by a simple yet wholly original idea: if he could dig a ditch through the riverbank to the Alamo Barranca, gravity would draw the waters of the Colorado down into the desert, causing the fertile soil to sprout the green paradise he had seen in his delirium. Wozencraft eventually traveled to California, but by then he had forgotten the gold rush. In the cool climate of the Pacific coast he dreamed of the burning desert and began to work to make his idea of reclamation a reality.

Its currents battered and repulsed their boats; its canyons blocked their marches. As the centuries passed, the Spaniards' curiosity about the Colorado gave way to puzzlement and finally to superstition. For men of European birth and heritage, the muddy torrent was too wild to master and too alien to comprehend. It was a source of endless failure and frustration, an unfathomable mystery, and they made only feeble efforts to chart its course and ponder its possible uses. It would be left to a new generation of explorersmen less fearful, more analytical, keenly interested in the commercial potential of the riverto dispel the fog of rumor and legend the Spaniards had spread over the Colorado and its canyons and to map, measure, and manipulate its waters.

The Imperial Valley farmers tallied their losses: millions of dollars' worth of crops either drowned or dead of thirst, thousands of acres scalped by rampaging floodwaters, and an irrigation system reduced to a shambles by silt and stupidity. The scale of the devastation was breathtaking and the prospects for recovery discouraging, but there was no thought of letting the valley return to desert. The memory of its bounty and the vision of ever more plentiful harvests ripening in the years to come, was too strong for that.

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