Academic journal article Electronic Green Journal

Review: The Hanford Reach: A Land of Contrasts

Academic journal article Electronic Green Journal

Review: The Hanford Reach: A Land of Contrasts

Article excerpt

Review: The Hanford Reach: A Land of Contrasts By Susan Zwinger and Stamford D. Smith Reviewed by Adam M. Sowards University of Idaho, USA Susan Zwinger, Stamford D. Smith, and Skip Smith (Photographer).The Hanford Reach: A Land of Contrasts. Desert Places series. Tucson: University of Arizona Press, 2004. 79 pp. ISBN 0-8165-2376-2 (paper). US$13.95.

Through words and black-and-white images, writer Susan Zwinger and photographer Skip Smith skillfully capture this unique area in south-central Washington State. The book conforms to the format of the University of Arizona Press' Desert Places series, edited by Gregory McNamee, and is a welcome addition. Simply put, The Hanford Reach: A Land of Contrasts is a beautiful book, depicting "a landscape of irony" through exquisite prose and stunning photographs (p. 5).

Recently protected as a national monument, the Hanford Reach is the last remaining free-flowing stretch on the Northwest's Columbia River. It also happens to run adjacent to the Hanford Nuclear Reservation where scientists processed the plutonium for the bomb dropped on Nagasaki. Over the years, Hanford produced and continues to store millions of gallons of radioactive waste, and during the infamous Green Run in 1949, the reservation released eight thousand curies of Iodine -131 over two days secretly causing a contamination far greater than the better known Three-Mile Island incident. Juxtaposed in the Reach now are rare and endangered species, amazing geological features, and some of the most wild desert spaces in the American West. …

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