The Dammed Missouri Valley: One Sixth of Our Nation

The Dammed Missouri Valley: One Sixth of Our Nation

The Dammed Missouri Valley: One Sixth of Our Nation

The Dammed Missouri Valley: One Sixth of Our Nation

Excerpt

A great leaven is working in a big but relatively unknown sector of the United States, the extensive valley of the Missouri River. It has been a comparatively backward region, but much thought and effort and huge sums of money are going into the task of remaking it and bringing it into its own. Thus a new interest in the Missouri basin is growing in the rest of the country. Precedents in regional development are being set there. It is the scene of one of the greatest undertakings the world has ever known, if not indeed the greatest: the improvement and development in entirety of a major watershed. This book is designed to depict life as it is today in the Missouri basin, and to give an objective account of the gigantic program of public works that is under way there, as well as of the inevitable controversies surrounding it. Sincere effort has been exerted to make the account factual and accurate. Statistics are used sparingly, and then generally where they serve to point up the hugeness of the undertakings. This is essentially a journalistic report, not the treatise of an economist or an engineer or a political scientist. A deliberate attempt is made to interlard the items of deeper significance with human sidelights. Chiefly the endeavor is to tell about the people and their problems, their resources, and their aspirations. Since 1945 one of my major assignments, in my capacity as a news reporter for the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, has been to "cover" this Missouri Valley program and related topics. I have attended and reported most of the meet-

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