An exploration of the natural and human history of ten great rivers of North America and how they have impacted the human experience for millennia

(a brief video introduction is HERE)

You can pre-order the book HERE


  • Foreward (by Mark Angelo, Founder and Chair, BC and World Rivers Day)
  • Introduction
  • One. The North American Family of Rivers
  • Two. The Mackenzie River: Two World Views
  • Three. The Yukon River: The Lure and Legacy of Gold
  • Four. The Fraser River: Sculptor of Biodiversity
  • Five. The Columbia River: Empire Builder.
  • Six. The Sacramento-San Joaquin River: A David vs. Goliath Water War
  • Seven. The Colorado River: Sacrificed
  • Eight. The Rio Grande/Rio Bravo: Life on the Other Side
  • Nine. The Mississippi River: The Body of The Nation
  • Ten. The Hudson River: Source of Inspriation
  • Eleven. The St. Lawrence River: Gateway to a Continent
  • Twelve. The Future of North America's Great Rivers
  • Appendices (i. comparative river statistics, ii. a rivers-themed musical play list)
  • Chapter Notes and Bibliography
  • Each chapter has detailed maps and thematic images
  • Description

    Rivers have been a central physical and ecological organizing force in driving the development of human civilization worldwide and in North America. The physical nature of rivers (direction of flow, age, size) has influenced the course of human history and development whether it be in the prosecution of major conflicts (US Civil War), patterns of development and social change (dams on the Columbia River), the economy (gold rushes, agricultural development), artistic expression (The Hudson River School of landscape art), or international relations (US and Mexico and the Colorado River). The centrality of human-river interactions has had great impacts on the biodiversity of rivers (salmon, and other threatened species) that have been the focus of historical and current intense conflicts of values (e.g., water in the Sacramento-San Joaquin system and California 'Water Wars' in general). After outlining the physical and human history of each river, my approach is to explore one issue for each river that illustrates the critical role of that river in human development in North America.

    A brief video describing the book can be viewed HERE.

  • World Rivers Day
  • International Rivers
  • Canadian Heritage Rivers
  • American Rivers
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    Image: Yukon River (EBT), Hudson River (Wikimedia Commons), Thompson River (Fraser River basin, EBT)


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