Sneddon Meridian Book Award

Christopher Sneedon book, Concrete Revolution: Large Dams, Cold War Geopolitics, and US Bureau of Reclamation, has been selected as the winner of the 2016 Meridian Book Award. This annual award recognizes a book that makes an unusually important contribution to advancing the science and art of geography. In this stellar history, geographer Christopher Sneddon traces the twentieth-century boom that saw 50,000 big dams built worldwide. The US Bureau of Reclamation presided, from the Great Depression megaproject Hoover Dam to the cold-war export of bureau engineers to more than 100 countries. Yet by 1969, assistant commissioner Gilbert Stamm saw that doing “marvellous things with materials” does not necessarily meet human needs. Societies and rivers, Sneddon shows, make for a complex confluence.

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