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Sherow is an environmental historian, one of an active group of scholars who have begun to assess Western development from a larger perspective than simple economic progress. He presents here an intelligent history and critique of water use in the upper Arkansas basin between Pueblo, Colorado, and Garden City, Kansas. In the years before 1950, developers never acknowledged water's place in the natural environment. Their plans soon required more water than was available but, rather than adjust to limitations, one exploiter blamed another and even more elaborate plans were conceived. It is a story that goes to the heart of the American character.