Books: Landscape with Ghosts

GOODBYE TO A RIVER (306 pp.)—John Graves—Knopf ($4.50).

Rivers, except for the big navigable ones, are a little out of date. So dam builders in the Western states are turning them into strings of placid lakes, stocked with fish, vacationers and beer cans. Only unregenerate wildlife cranks doubt that progress is served in the interests of flood control, irrigation, electrification and the outboard motor industry. Author John Graves is no crank, and from the evidence of his book, he is something of a fatalist. When he heard that a section of the Brazos River...

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