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The Control of Nature is John McPhee's bestselling account of places where people are locked in combat with nature. Taking us deep into these contested territories, McPhee details the strageties and tactics through which people attempt to control nature. Most striking is his depiction of the main contestants: nature in complex and awesome guises, and those attempting to wrest control from her - stubborn, sometimes foolhardy, more often ingenious, and always arresting characters.
“All three elemental battles recounted by the masterly McPhee are unified by the most uncontrolled and stubborn of all forces: human nature.” —R. Z. Sheppard, Time
“It is difficult to put these stories aside. If the stories bear witness to the ultimate triumph of nature over human engineering, they also testify to the triumph of art over nature.” —Stephen J. Pyne, The New York Times Book Review (front page)
“This book is unmistakable McPhee: the silky narrative, with keen detail and sharp dialogue, the finely drawn characters, the nimble metaphors.” —Stephen MacDonald, The Wall Street Journal
“Some of his passages left me gasping for breath…This book gave me more pure enjoyment than anything I've read in a long time.” —Christopher Shaw, The Washington Post Book World