Jacques Leslie talks about Deep Water: The Epic Struggle Over Dams, Displaced People, and the Environment.
This is an incisive, searching, and beautifully written account of the emerging crisis over dams and the world's water. Leslie makes this crisis vivid through the stories of three figures: Medha Patkar, the world's foremost anti-dam activist; Thayer Scudder, an American anthropologist; and Don Blackmore, an Australian water manager- Book Passage
Jacques Leslie is the author of Deep Water: The Epic Struggle Over Dams, Displaced People, and the Environment, published in 2005 by Farrar, Straus and Giroux. The book won the J. Anthony Lukas Work-in-Progress Award and was named one of the top science books of 2005 by Discover magazine.
As a war correspondent in Saigon for the Los Angeles Times, Jacques Leslie was the first American journalist to enter and return from Viet Cong territory in South Vietnam. For his reporting, he earned expulsion from South Vietnam. For this same reporting, he earned a Pulitzer Prize nomination and won two national journalism awards. He went on to cover the collapse of the Lon Nol government (leaving Phnom Penh in an evacuation helicopter) and the Pathet Lao's toppling of the coalition government in Laos. He is the author of "The Mark: A War Correspondent's Memoir of Vietnam and Cambodia." He has written for Harper's, The Atlantic, The New York Times Magazine, Newsweek, The Washington Post, The Wall Street Journal, The Boston Globe, Mother Jones, Wired, Salon, Whole Earth Review, and many other magazines and newspapers.
In recent years, Leslie has focused most of his attention on what he terms "the great looming story of the twenty-first century, the unraveling of the global environment." He has written on power blackouts, the coming hydrogen age, food irradiation, SUVs, and groundwater speculation. In 2000, he authored a Harper's cover story on international water scarcity entitled "Running Dry: What Happens When the World No Longer Has Enough Freshwater?" It was selected for inclusion in The Best American Science Writing 2001.
His new book, "Deep Water: The Epic Struggle over Dams, Displaced People, and the Environment," won the 2002 J. Anthony Lukas Work-in-Progress Award. It depicts three people deeply involved with dams: Medha Patkar, the world's leading antidam activist, who has courted death repeatedly to protest the Sardar Sarovar Dam in western India; Thayer Scudder, an anthropologist at the California Institute of Technology and the world's foremost authority on dam resettlement; and Don Blackmore, who led a campaign to persuade farmers and politicians to return water to the River Murray in Australia to reverse its headlong decline.