From the mountains of South America to the deserts of northern Africa to the islands of south Asia, people have devised myriad ways of moving water to sustain their communities and nourish their crops. Many of these irrigation methods have been used over long periods of time and continue to function in diverse ecological and sociopolitical contexts. This book presents case studies and comparative essays about local institutions for managing water resources. Drawn from around the globe, the cases clearly demonstrate that "indigenous" irrigation is often more sustainable, cost-effective, and flexible than has been generally believed. The contributors discuss a wide range of environments, cultural traditions, and historical contexts in which such systems operate, maintaining a common focus on incentives for cooperation, operational rules, collective-choice arrangements, principles of allocation, and conflict-resolution mechanisms. Canals and Communities can serve as a sourcebook for social scientists and development planners investigating the cultural ecology of irrigated agriculture, the ethnology of cooperative social formations, the politics of collective-resource institutions, and the sociology of rural development. The book also provides examples and generalizations about the cross-cultural characteristics of sustainable water resource management and intensive agriculture. Aside from its theoretical contributions to human ecology and anthropology, the book is of practical importance to development studies. The cases it presents make a convincing argument for perpetuating small-scale irrigation systems as part of the world's repertoire of irrigation knowledge and resources.
The Ethnology of Irrigation: Cross-Cultural Characteristics of Local Water Management, Jonathan B. Mabry Patterns of Cooperation and Conflict in Local Irrigation
1. La Gente es Muy Perra: Conflict and Cooperation over Irrigation Water in Cucurpe, Sonora, Mexico, Thomas E. Sheridan
2. Dhasheeg Agriculture in the Jubba Valley of Somalia, Catherine Besteman
3. The Dry and the Drier: Cooperation and Conflict in Moroccan Irrigation, John R. Welch
4. The Political Ecology of Irrigation in an Andean Peasant Community, Paul H. Gelles Methods and Models for Analyzing Local Irrigation
5. Rapid Rural Appraisal of Arid Land Irrigation: A Moroccan Example, John R. Welch, Jonathan B. Mabry, and Hsain Ilahiane
6. Simulation Modelling of Balinese Irrigation, J. Stephen Lansing
7. Institutional Innovation in Small-Scale Irrigation Networks: A Cape Verdean Case, Mark W. Langworthy and Timothy J. Finan Development Lessons from Local Irrigation
8. Qanats and Rural Societies: Sustainable Agriculture and Irrigation Cultures in Contemporary Iran, Michael E. Bonine
9. The Utility of Tradition in Sri Lankan Bureaucratic Irrigation: The Case of the Kirindi Oya Project, Pamela Stanbury
10. The Relevance of Indigenous Irrigation: A Comparative Analysis of Sustainability, Jonathan B. Mabry and David A. Cleveland Conclusion
The Hydraulics of History: Evolutionary Trajectories of Local and Centralized Irrigation, Jonathan B. Mabry
The Canals of Mars: A Memoir
Gary Fincke Michigan State University Press, 2010 Library of Congress PS3556.I457Z46 2010 | Dewey Decimal 813.54
The Canals of Mars is a memoir that explores and ponders "weakness," which in Gary Fincke's family was the catch-all term for every possible human flaw-physical, psychological, or spiritual. Fincke grew up near Pittsburgh during the 1950s and 1960s, raised by blue-collar parents for whom the problems that beset people-from alcoholism to nearsightedness to asthma to fear of heights-were nothing but weaknesses.
In a highly engaging style, Fincke meditates on the disappointments he suffered-in his body, his mind, his work-because he was convinced that he had to be "perfect." Anything less than perfection was weakness and no one, he understood from an early age, wants to be weak.
Six of the chapters in the book have been cited in Best American Essays. The chapter that provides the book's title, The Canals of Mars, won a Pushcart Prize and was included in The Pushcart Book of Essays: The Best Essays from a Quarter Century of the Pushcart Prize.
The Danube-Oder-Elbe Canal promised to create an integrated waterway system across Europe, linking Black Sea ports to Atlantic markets and giving landlocked Czech nation its own connections to the ocean. The fascinating history of this never-completed project, European Coasts of Bohemia tells the story of the experts who confronted and contributed to different and often conflicting geopolitical visions of Europe. Jíra Janác shows how the canal-backers adapted themselves to various political developments, such as the break-up of the Austrian–Hungarian Empire and the integration into the Soviet Bloc, while still managing to keep the canal project alive.
Ohio Canal Era, a rich analysis of state policies and their impact in directing economic change, is a classic on the subject of the pre–Civil War transportation revolution. This edition contains a new foreword by scholar Lawrence M. Friedman and a bibliographic note by the author.
Professor Scheiber explores how Ohio—as a “public enterprise state,” creating state agencies and mobilizing public resources for transport innovation and control—led in the process of economic change before the Civil War. No other historical account of the period provides so full and insightful a portrayal of “law in action.” Scheiber reveals the important roles of American nineteenth- century government in economic policy-making, finance, administration, and entrepreneurial activities in support of economic development.
His study is equally important as an economic history. Scheiber provides a full account of waves of technological innovation and of the transformation of Ohio’s commerce, agriculture, and industrialization in an era of hectic economic change. And he tells the intriguing story of how the earliest railroads of the Old Northwest were built and financed, finally confronting the state- owned canal system with a devastating competitive challenge.
Amid the current debate surrounding “privatization,” “deregulation,” and the appropriate use of “industrial policy” by government to shape and channel the economy. Scheiber’s landmark study gives vital historical context to issues of privatization and deregulation that we confront in new forms today.
Between 1826 and 1858 the state of Pennsylvania built and operated the largest and most technologically advanced system of canals and railroads in North America–almost one thousand miles of transport that stretched from Philadelphia to Pittsburgh and beyond.
The construction of this ambitious transportation system was accompanied by great euphoria. It was widely believed that the revenue created from these canals and railroads would eliminate the need for all taxes on state citizens. Yet with the Panic of 1837, a financial crisis much like boom and bust cycle that ended in 2008, a deep recession fell across the country.
By 1858, Pennsylvania had sold all canals and railroads to private companies, often for pennies-on-the-dollar.
Over the Alleghenies: Early Canals and Railroads of Pennsylvania is the definitive history of the state of Pennsylvania’s incredible canal and railroad system. Although often condemned as a colossal failure, this construction effort remains an innovative, magnificent feat that ushered in modern transportation to Pennsylvania and the entire country. With extensive primary research, over one hundred illustrations, newspapers clippings, and charts and graphs, Over the Alleghenies examines and dissects the infrastructure project that bankrupted the wealthiest state in the Union.
The Potomac Canal: George Washington and the Waterway West is a history of a new nation’s first effort to link the rich western agricultural lands with the coastal port cities of the east. The Potomac Canal Company was founded in 1785, and was active until it was overtaken by the Chesapeake and Ohio Canal Company in 1828. During its operation, the canal system was used to ship flour from mills in the foothills of Appalachia to the tidewater of the Chesapeake, where the flour was shipped to the Caribbean as trade for sugar and other goods. This trade soon became the basis of agricultural wealth in West Virginia’s eastern panhandle and throughout the Appalachian Piedmont. Coal was also shipped via the canal system from the upper reaches of the Potomac River to workshops at Harpers Ferry and beyond. This industrial trade route laid the foundation for what would eventually become the Chesapeake and Ohio Canal and the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad.
Realizing the century-old dream of a passage to India, the building of the Panama Canal was an engineering feat of colossal dimensions, a construction site filled not only with mud and water but with interpretations, meanings, and social visions. Alexander Missal’s Seaway to the Future unfolds a cultural history of the Panama Canal project, revealed in the texts and images of the era’s policymakers and commentators. Observing its creation, journalists, travel writers, and officials interpreted the Canal and its environs as a perfect society under an efficient, authoritarian management featuring innovations in technology, work, health, and consumption. For their middle-class audience in the United States, the writers depicted a foreign yet familiar place, a showcase for the future—images reinforced in the exhibits of the 1915 Panama-Pacific International Exposition that celebrated the Canal’s completion. Through these depictions, the building of the Panama Canal became a powerful symbol in a broader search for order as Americans looked to the modern age with both anxiety and anticipation.
Like most utopian visions, this one aspired to perfection at the price of exclusion. Overlooking the West Indian laborers who built the Canal, its admirers praised the white elite that supervised and administered it. Inspired by the masculine ideal personified by President Theodore Roosevelt, writers depicted the Canal Zone as an emphatically male enterprise and Chief Engineer George W. Goethals as the emblem of a new type of social leader, the engineer-soldier, the benevolent despot. Examining these and other images of the Panama Canal project, Seaway to the Future shows how they reflected popular attitudes toward an evolving modern world and, no less important, helped shape those perceptions.
Best Books for Regional Special Interests, selected by the American Association of School Librarians, and Best Books for General Audiences, selected by the Public Library Association
“Provide[s] a useful vantage on the world bequeathed to us by the forces that set out to put America astride the globe nearly a century ago.”—Chris Rasmussen, Bookforum