Oblong Online: Tyler J. Kelley "Holding Back The River: The Struggle Against Nature on America's Waterways" in conversation with Eric W. Sanderson

Event date: 
Thursday, April 22, 2021 - 7:00pm
Event address: 
EST via Crowdcast

This online event is free. Your purchase of a book helps support the author and our independent bookstore and is greatly appreciated. Shipping or contactless curbside pickup available.

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Tyler J. Kelley talks about his revelatory work of reporting on the men and women wrestling to harness and preserve America’s most vital natural resource: our rivers with author Eric. W. Sanderson (Manahatta).

Tyler J. KelleyHolding Back the River by Tyler J. Kelley

Author image by Araby Kelley.

The Mississippi. The Missouri. The Ohio. The Hudson! America’s great rivers are the very lifeblood of our country. We need them for nourishing crops, for cheap bulk transportation, for hydroelectric power, for fresh drinking water. Rivers are also part of our mythology, our collective soul; they are Mark Twain, Led Zeppelin, and the Delta Blues. But as infrastructure across the nation fails and climate change pushes rivers and seas to new heights, we’ve arrived at a critical moment in our battle to tame these often-destructive forces of nature. Tyler J. Kelley spent two years traveling the heartland, getting to know the men and women whose lives and livelihoods rely on these tenuously tamed streams. The result, Holding Back the River, is a deeply human exploration of how our centuries-long dream of conquering and shaping this vast network of waterways squares with the reality of an indomitable natural world.

America’s infrastructure is old and underfunded. While our economy, society, and climate have changed, our levees, locks, and dams have not. Yet to fix what’s wrong will require more than money. It will require an act of imagination. Meticulously researched and as lively as it is informative, Holding Back the River brings us into the lives of the Americans who grapple with our mighty rivers and, through their stories, suggests solutions to some of the century’s greatest challenges.

Tyler J. Kelley is a journalist who has written for the New York TimesThe Wall Street Journal, and The New Yorker among other publications. Kelley currently teaches at The New School in the Journalism + Design program. His previous projects include the documentary film Following Seas, co-directed with his wife Araby Kelley. They live with their son in Brooklyn.

Eric W. Sanderson is the author of Manahatta: A Natural History of New York City and Terra Nova: The New World After Oil, Cars, and Suburbs. He is a senior conservation ecologist in the Global Conservation Programs of the Wildlife Conservation Society, an adjunct faculty member at Columbia University and New York University Sanderson has lectured at Princeton, Harvard, and Oxford universities, and at TED.

Mannahatta: A Natural History of New York City By Eric W. Sanderson, Markley Boyer (Illustrator) Cover Image
By Eric W. Sanderson, Markley Boyer (Illustrator)
ISBN: 9781419707483
Availability: Available in our Warehouse: Usually Ships in 3-8 Days
Published: Abrams - May 28th, 2013

Terra Nova: The New World After Oil, Cars, and Suburbs By Eric W. Sanderson Cover Image
This item is not currently available to order.
ISBN: 9781419704345
Published: Abrams Books - June 4th, 2013