Power Over People

Power Over People

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Product details

  • Paperback | 250 pages
  • 130 x 190mm | 28,123g
  • Oxford University Press Inc
  • New York, United States
  • New edition
  • New edition
  • illustrations, map, bibliography
  • 0195018303
  • 9780195018301

Review Text

The energy industries have been getting short-circuited in these recent ecosuicidal times by everyone from Johnny Carson, whose tinker-toy-power-company jibes have touched a sensitive kilowatt at Con Ed, to the much more serious polemics by William Rodgers (Brown-out, p. 1082) and James Ridgeway (The Last Play, p. 1177). Now Louise Young joins the critics - that's putting it mildly - with this both carefully studious and blisteringly personal tract against the electricity magnates, who are, she argues with strong and unique evidence, contributing quietly but dangerously to the ravishment of our earthscape via visually monstrous "tick-tack-toe" towers and cables which disfigure the land, via polluting extra-high-voltage lines which issue corona discharges which initiate "electrochemical processes known to be harmful to all living things" (this is the first book-length documentation of such charges), via new snaking cords (the 765-kv is singled out) which create intolerable noise levels, and via company rapes of rural rights and sensibilities in the gross effort to get electric power to the hungry urban areas - the pitiful stories of Aunt Kiz and Clovis Strasbow and Taterbug Brown and the quite literally powerless state attorney general are recorded as the Ohio Power Company forced its way through garden and tree. Again we encounter the profits-is-all attitude, industry maleficence, and a public-be-damned syndrome. Young is not a mad Luddite, but no one, after reading this sizzling indictment, could blame her - or the converts this book is bound to make - if clubs were taken to the "steel forests" which are goosestepping increasingly across our land. (Kirkus Reviews)show more