Imperial is William T. Vollmann’s gripping examination one of the most spectacular failures of twentieth century optimism, the effort to irrigate California’s Imperial Valley with water diverted from the Colorado River. While the region enjoyed an agricultural boom in the 1930s, it became one of the poorest counties in the nation, its artificial Salton Sea. a smelly environmental disaster, its agriculture beset with immigration and labor problems. Through exploration, interviews, archives, and even spy cameras, Vollmann has pulled together a compelling and compassionate story of corporate exploitation and fading dreams.
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Added by Pamela Troy on July 7, 2009