THE CONTROL OF NATURE.
Edition: First printing.
New York: Farrar, Straus & Giroux, 1989. dj. Hardcover first edition - Accounts of three struggles against the forces of nature: the Atchafalaya and the tendency of the Mississippi River to change courses, a volcanic eruption and lava flow in Iceland which were threatening the second largest fishing harbor in the country, and the constant debris and mud slides in Los Angeles which are caused because the San Gabriel and San Bernadino Mountains are 'incompetent'. The title was inspired by the unintended ambiguity McPhee noted in a motto etched on the engineering building at the University of Wyoming: 'Strive on - the control of nature is won, not given.' The result is one of his most entertaining and vivids books: the images of the Icelanders fighting the lava flow by pumping water on it and of the trucks that carry the debris caught in the basins above the subdivisions of Los Angeles back up the mountain are ones that will stay with you. 272 pp. ISBN: 0-374-128901.
Condition: Very near fine in a like dustjacket (tight, clean copy, with small prev owner's name stamp on front endpaper.)