The Control of Nature
The book is divided into three parts. The first is about the attempt on the part of the Army Corp of Engineers to control the meandering of the Mississippi River. The second part is about how an Icelandic engineer managed to save a harbor by spraying water (a LOT of water!) on the lava that was spewing from a volcano. Finally, we have the story of Los Angeles and the people who insist on building their homes in the path of mudslides. And this is not mud in the usual sense. This is mud that is made of boulders, automobiles, houses, and just about anything else that can slide off of a very unstable range of mountains. This one taught me so much, while keeping me fascinated by some of the goofy things we try to do. It's WELL worth the time.