The Organic Machine: The Remaking of the Columbia River

The Organic Machine: The Remaking of the Columbia River

Richard White Eric Foner / Sep 23, 2019

The Organic Machine The Remaking of the Columbia River The Hill and Wang Critical Issues Series concise affordable works on pivotal topics in American history society and politics In this pioneering study White explores the relationship between the na

  • Title: The Organic Machine: The Remaking of the Columbia River
  • Author: Richard White Eric Foner
  • ISBN: 9780809015832
  • Page: 322
  • Format: Paperback
  • The Hill and Wang Critical Issues Series concise, affordable works on pivotal topics in American history, society, and politics.In this pioneering study, White explores the relationship between the natural history of the Columbia River and the human history of the Pacific Northwest for both whites and Native Americans He concentrates on what brings humans and the river tThe Hill and Wang Critical Issues Series concise, affordable works on pivotal topics in American history, society, and politics.In this pioneering study, White explores the relationship between the natural history of the Columbia River and the human history of the Pacific Northwest for both whites and Native Americans He concentrates on what brings humans and the river together not only the physical space of the region but also, and primarily, energy and work For working with the river has been central to Pacific Northwesterners competing ways of life It is in this way that White comes to view the Columbia River as an organic machine with conflicting human and natural claims and to show that whatever separation exists between humans and nature exists to be crossed.

    The Organic Machine The Remaking of the Columbia River In The Organic Machine, Richard White, a distinguished historian and leading scholar of the American West, explores the intimate relationship between nature and mankind along the Columbia River. The Organic Machine The Remaking of the Columbia River The Organic Machine The Remaking of the Columbia River Critical Issue The Hill and Wang Critical Issues Series concise, affordable works on pivotal topics in American history, society, and politics In this pioneering study, White explores the relationship between the natural history of the Columbia River and the human history The Organic Machine Paper Masters Research Papers using The Organic Machine by Richard White Metaphorically, White alludes to the energy of human tensions that have been caused by the river over the past years These are mainly between the Indians and the first white settlers, as White states, Passage along the Northwest Dak Study Notes The Organic Machine Oct , Study Notes The Organic Machine The flow of the river is energy, so is the electricity that comes from the dams that block that flow Human labor is energy so are the calories stored as fat by salmon for their journey upstream Seen one way, energy is an abstraction seen another it is as concrete as salmon, human bodies, and the Grand Coulee Dam. The Organic Machine The Remaking of the Columbia River The Organic Machine The Remaking of the Columbia River He concentrates on what brings humans and the river together not only the physical space of the region but also, and primarily, energy and work For working with the river has been central to Pacific Northwesterners competing ways of life. The Organic Machine A Discussion of Human Relationships Apr , However, as the title suggests, the Columbia and natural systems around the world are not regular machines, but are instead organic machines, and regardless of our influence they are still tied to larger organic cycles beyond our control . Richard White s The Organic Machine Essay Example for In a close examination of the history and development of the Columbia River, The Organic Machine The Remaking of the Columbia River connects the elements of natural and artificial energy in order to reveal both the beauty and the danger of the Columbia today. The Organic Machine By Richard White Researchomatic The Organic Machine By Richard White In the early days of the Columbia River and ships, the river was a mighty force Not many ships made their journeys up the Columbia without running into some major problems The early Columbia had raging rapids, swift currents, and Review Of The Organic Machine Words Cram Review Over The Organic Machine Richard White, the author of The Organic Machine, is an American author and historian with over works published He earned his Bachelor s degree at the University of California, and his Ph.D at the Santa Cruz University of Washington. Project MUSE The Organic Machine The Remaking of the The Columbia River that emerges from The Organic Machine is a cyborg like cultural artifact, a blend of the human and the natural, that not only serves and obeys but also confounds and frustrates those who must address the consequences of the process of transformation.

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      • Richard White Eric Foner

        Richard White Eric Foner Is a well-known author, some of his books are a fascination for readers like in the The Organic Machine: The Remaking of the Columbia River book, this is one of the most wanted Richard White Eric Foner author readers around the world.


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    1. This is an extended review of this important book of Pacific Northwest environmental history.The first unusual thing the reader notices about Richard White’s book The Organic Machine is its size, just 130 pages. Equally unusual, but considerably more important, is the argument White puts forward in those 130 pages. Citing a fascination with both salmon and dams, White examines the history of both on the Columbia River through the lens of energy and work. In so doing, he attempts to bridge the [...]


    2. The transformation of the Columbia River, from Lewis and Clark to the nuclear age, is documented with precision and insight in Richard White’s The Organic Machine. Although it is only 113 pages in length, White utilizes every word for maximum impact. The result is a brief but compelling look at the geographic, economic and social impacts that humans brought to the Columbia River. White argues that the relationship between humans and nature is far more ambiguous and complex than we can foresee, [...]


    3. This was probably my favorite of the short "river histories" I just got from the library. Probably I liked it best because it is by a historian I already enjoy, and so a little more up my alley, professionally. White's gist here is that the Columbia has always been an organic machine, from the days before white settlement of its watershed through the present era of hydroelectric dams and nuclear installations. When Native Americans controlled the river it was basically a salmon machine, the fish [...]


    4. The Columbia River, starting in Canada and snaking through the Pacific Northwest before emptying into the Pacific Ocean, is one of the most important rivers in American history. For thousands of years it has served as an economic, social and cultural hub. Native American tribes lived along its banks and fished for its salmon; fur traders used it to travel and sell their wares; and settlers used it to expand into new territories.Having existed for thousands of years before Americans ever laid eye [...]


    5. I great little book, it covers the whole spectrum of the Columbia River basin and its history. Salmon, Labor, the nature of rivers, the history of dams, dreams of American equality, greed, mismanagement, and hubris on a massive man made scale.



    6. Rather than following the declensionist narrative that had dominated earlier environmental history writing, The Organic Machine focuses on the energy flowing through the river, and how humans have interacted with it differently over time. The energy from the sun evaporated water from the Pacific Ocean, which when it falls on Cascades creates the physical force of the river. The salmon spawn in the river, then swim to the ocean where their feeding accumulates the energy rising through the food ch [...]


    7. A cool materialist look at the Columbia River, foregrounding energy and work done by both humans and natural processes. As a humanities trained reader, I liked the way scientific concepts were explained. I did not like the way human issues (e.g indigenous people vs. white settlers, gender) were treated.



    8. The intention behind the book was noble, but the execution was lacking. Often, White's argument was convoluted and seemed to tip-toe around the point (and some of the bigger issues only mentioned in passing). His argument lacked organization which made it less effective. However, this book did succeed in getting me excited about learning more about the Columbia River and our relationship to it through electricity, energy, labor, and salmon.I will be doing more exploring, but this book would not [...]


    9. I had to write a book review for class, so I thought I should post it here as my comments: Richard White skillfully analyzes the intertwined relationship of humans and their environment, specifically in the Columbia Basin, arguing that human labor created an “organic machine” that was both manmade and natural, or “unmade.” A crucial aspect of this connection are the two qualities of energy and work, which are attributed to both the river and the humans who labored there. The book is cohe [...]


    10. The Columbia River in the Pacific Northwest is a powerful force of nature that supports a diverse ecosystem . . . which includes humans. Richard White collapses the artificial dichotomies of man vs. nature and nature vs. machine in order to demonstrate that the lines are indeed blurred when one considers that men are indeed a part of nature as are the machines they make (for example, steamships are essentially just the mechanical power harvested from heated water to propel humans upstream--it is [...]


    11. This is a short yet highly informative book about how humans and nature intersect: through energy and work. Richard White, best known for his book "The Middle Ground," focuses on the Columbia River, and traces the many changes that have transformed it over the years. Beginning when it was in its most organic form, the author provides some information on how Native Americans cooperated with it as their seasonal fish source. Westerners soon enter the picture, as all big changes in any story tend t [...]


    12. An essential history for anyone, and particularly Christians in the Pacific Northwest who subscribe to the the idea that God, in Jesus Christ and through the Holy Spirit, created the world and the inevitable tension between preservation and so-called 'development' (or developing God's world) of the modern era. White tells the story of the Columbia River from before Euro-settlement to time when he wrote the book (1994). One of the main threads is to show the demise of the former Salmon runs at th [...]


    13. Continuing on my environmental history kick, I read Richard White's "The Organic Machine" recently. Despite documenting the energy flow of the Columbia River and its ten dams with some level of expertise, this book falls victim to Cronon's anthropocentrism and is not written nearly as well. The thesis is muddy, the research is jumbled, and it certainly is not White's best work. it's a mediocre text; in the field of environmental history, there are many better options.


    14. Mild blowing prose. Ridiculously dense in substance, while remarkably clear in language. Seriously, that's possible. I buy his metaphor of the Columbia River as an organic machine. However, I also think that the social entities most responsible for the construction of the "machine" have no incentive nor stake in changing the way they consider the Columbia River as a machine by seeing it as also an organic entity. That's the short version of the 5 page paper I wrote on it.


    15. I liked it because of the history of the Columbia River, from salmon run central to Native American Culture to premier source of electric power in Pacific Northwest. The river was a locus of power, and the power changed from migrating salmon and human labor to hydroelectricity and manufacturing. The story of the river shows relationships between people and place, and social structures. This was all good, but I liked the telling of history better than handling of the narrative conceits.


    16. There were a few parts I skimmed through, but overall I liked this pretty well. It's not as much of a 'story' as other things, and feels a little more like a textbook, but is not too dense or fact-filled that it's hard to follow. For an educational read, it is about as good as it can get.


    17. This book did not have a clear narrative thread for me. White tried to tie everything in to the concept of energy but at times his pages of metaphors showing that rivers=energy=human work, etc etc confused me more than they helped.


    18. What a great book. White really gets at the changes that have swept over the Columbia River since whites arrived in the region. Great for understanding how humans try to control nature and the terrible ecological effects such actions can have. One of the best books on the Northwest ever written.



    19. I really liked this book, its a good book to read when you feel like we really aren't that connected to nature.


    20. Wow! Tightly written weave of fact and story. Like the river itself. Stylistic unique and captivating.





    21. I loved this. I thought it could have gone further, but the arguments about the interconnectivity of nature and humans were awesome.


    22. quick and to the point. kind of makes it more confusing. introduced us to lewis mumford. good for cascadians.




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