By Paul C Pitzer
Within the able fingers of Paul Pitzer, the struggle for Grand Coulee Dam and the tale of its development is an important, lively saga of individuals striving for staggering objectives after which operating to construct whatever astounding. those visionaries entire their aim opposed to the backdrop of the worst financial melancholy within the nation's heritage. The dam and the wide irrigation community it helps stand at the present time as a monument to their desires and labors.
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Extra resources for Grand Coulee: harnessing a dream
Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data Pitzer, Paul C. Pitzer. p. cm. Includes bibliographical references and index. paper). Title. 91'0097972 dc20 94-27155 CIP Page vii To Richard Maxwell Brown It is easier to do a thing when someone you admire and trust believes you can do it. Page viii Some day at Grand Coulee Dam there will be harnessed 2,000,000 wild horses energy that today is wasting itself away day by day as it flows down the Columbia River, the wildest big stream in the civilized world.
Look at the people who came, the ideas they carried with them, and the changes the new environment and association with different peoples forced them to make, and you can understand American history. The arid West did not easily accede to the goals of its settlers. To accommodate the differences, they made subtle and dramatic changes in their lifestyles. In the process they became the democrats that Frederick Jackson Turner saw when he wrote his famous thesis in 1893. As settlement expanded, leavened by racial, cultural, and economic diversity, the American character changed.
The notion of the government not only managing the project but even using it to enter the power market as a competitor with private companies became the bugaboo that gravity plan backers successfully used against the pumpers for over a decade. They thought the government should pay the bills but not usurp the resulting project, which represented huge potential profits for whoever managed it. 6 Finally, the 1920s saw expansion of irrigation slow to a standstill nationally. 7 The Reclamation Service, attacked by conservatives and Easterners as expensive, wasteful, and unnecessary, struggled to maintain itself as a viable government agency and it looked for dramatic projects to revitalize its image.