Inventing Niagara: Beauty, Power, and Lies

Inventing Niagara: Beauty, Power, and Lies


americans name Niagara Falls a traditional ask yourself, however the Falls should not very ordinary anymore. in truth, they seem to be a learn in artifice. Water diverted, riverbed reshaped, verge of collapse stabilized and panorama redesigned, the Falls are extra a monument to man's meddling than to nature's power. Held up for instance of whatever genuine, they're hemmed in with fakery -- waxworks, haunted homes, IMAX motion pictures and ersatz Indian stories. a logo of yankee occur future, they're shared with courtesy with Canada. logo of nature's energy, they're thoroughly human-controlled. Archetype of typical attractiveness, they belie an unsightly environmental legacy nonetheless effervescent up from lower than. On each point, Niagara Falls is a monument to how the USA falsifies nature, reshaping its contours and redirecting its strength whereas claiming to undergo its will.

Combining historical past, reportage and private narrative, Inventing Niagara strains Niagara's trip from elegant icon to engineering wonder to camp spectacle. alongside the way in which, Ginger Strand uncovers the hidden background of America's waterfall: the Mohawk leader who wrested the Falls from his followed tribe, the respected city father who secretly assisted slave catchers, the wartime staff who unknowingly helped construct the Bomb and the development contractor who got and offered a pharaoh. With an uncanny skill to 0 in at the buried fact, Strand introduces us to underwater dams, freaks of nature, legendary maidens and 280,000 radioactive mice buried at Niagara.

From LaSalle to Lincoln to Los Alamos, Mohawks to Marilyn, Niagara's tale is America's tale, a story of desires based at the mastery of nature. At a time of accelerating environmental problem, Inventing Niagara exhibits us how knowing the cultural heritage of nature will help us reconsider our position in it this present day.

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