By Paul C Pitzer
Within the able arms of Paul Pitzer, the struggle for Grand Coulee Dam and the tale of its development is a crucial, lively saga of individuals striving for wonderful pursuits after which operating to construct whatever remarkable. those visionaries finished their goal opposed to the backdrop of the worst fiscal melancholy within the nation's background. The dam and the broad irrigation community it helps stand this present day as a monument to their desires and labors.
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Additional info for Grand Coulee: harnessing a dream
The dam's power would turn machines, illuminate cities, and bring prosperity to an area avoided as a no-man's-land by those with lesser vision. The dam itself would be the biggest thing on earth, man's greatest engineering undertaking, and a demonstration of modern civilization. It would symbolize the West's bigness. It would make a part of the West like the East the same, only better, and different. When Franklin Roosevelt's New Dealers began the Columbia Basin Project in 1933, they added the concept of planning.
But the war, food shortages, the need to resettle veterans, and the desire of eastern Washington residents to see their area grow all converged and heightened interest in reclamation. Motivated by the twin desires of making money and seeing their region grow and prosper, residents grasped the promise of irrigation with renewed vigor. But none of them could have guessed that it would take almost fifteen years for the government to decide between the plans, and over thirty years before any water poured onto Columbia Basin land.
His work merits a place beside Charles McKinley's Uncle Sam in the Pacific Northwest as one of the most significant studies examining the Pacific Northwest yet to be published. Richard Lowitt, author The New Deal and the West Paul Pitzer's splendid study of Grand Coulee Dam and the Columbia Basin reclamation project will be required reading for anyone interested in the future of the Inland Empire or making long-term plans for land redevelopment. It is sure to be consulted by a generation of economists, engineers, politicians, historians, and social critics.