By Zygmunt J. B. Plater

Even at the present time, thirty years after the felony battles to save lots of the endangered snail darter, the little fish that blocked of entirety of a TVA dam continues to be invoked as an icon of leftist extremism and governmental foolishness. during this eye-opening publication, the attorney who together with his scholars fought and received the perfect courtroom case—known formally as Tennessee Valley Authority v. Hill—tells the hidden tale at the back of one of many nation’s most important environmental legislation battles.

The realities of the darter’s case, Plater asserts, were continually mischaracterized in politics and the media. This booklet deals an in depth account of the six-year campaign opposed to a pork-barrel venture that made no monetary experience and was once unsuitable from the beginning. in truth TVA’s undertaking was once designed for activity and genuine property improvement. And on the center of the little workforce battling the undertaking within the courts and Congress have been kinfolk farmers attempting to retailer their houses and farms, such a lot of that have been to be resold in a company land improvement scheme. Plater’s gripping story of electorate navigating the tangled corridors of nationwide energy stimulates vital questions on our nation’s governance, and finally units the snail darter’s list straight.


“The tale of the snail darter and the TVA is the Thermopylae within the heritage of America’s conservation circulate, and this ebook via Zygmunt Plater merits to be the vintage telling of it.”—Edward O. Wilson, Harvard University
(Edward O. Wilson)

"The Snail Darter and the Dam is an inspiring and informative American tale of standard humans struggling with robust exact pursuits. It's approximately how the general public curiosity misplaced out to special cash and its political allies--and mess ups by means of the neighborhood and nationwide press to record the tale particularly, competently, and in right context."—Dan quite, Anchor and coping with Editor of AXS TV
(Dan relatively 2012-09-19)

"TVA v. Hill is one among my favourite situations. This eminently readable account of the whole heritage of the case is much more attention-grabbing than the tale instructed in Warren Burger’s opinion for the court docket (or my reminiscence of the oral argument and the moving positions of the Justices in my ebook, 5 Chiefs). The author’s account of the way President Carter rejected the “God Committee’s” verdict concerning the darter is principally so."—Hon. Justice John Paul Stevens, best courtroom of the U.S. [retired]
(Hon. Justice John Paul Stevens [retired] 2012-08-27)

"The inside of tale of an extended and interesting battle—legal, political, environmental, and personal— that grew to become an icon of its period and is still instructive even at the present time. It’s a blueprint for neighborhood motion, and—sadly—a still-current roadmap of how during which Washington works. The felony maneuverings are laid out with extraordinary lucidity, yet much more the publication is by means of flip compassionate, indignant, and extremely humane, and really worth reading.”—Jonathan Harr, writer of A Civil Action
(Jonathan Harr 2012-06-25)

"A compelling heritage . . . that sheds mild at the coverage procedure and is attention-grabbing in its personal correct. steered [for] all readership levels."—Choice

“Plater . . . does a deft task of weaving jointly the felony framework and context for his struggle opposed to TVA, which he ended up successful earlier than the best courtroom within the landmark case TVA v. Hill. He employs a strict first-person, present-tense point of view that provides the publication a fascinating, memoiristic tone. [He] presents a wealth of aspect that makes for compelling interpreting, and he has a knack for bringing drama to even the main technical courtroom proceedings."—Clay Risen, bankruptcy 16
(Clay Risen bankruptcy 16)

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Additional resources for The Snail Darter and the Dam: How Pork-Barrel Politics Endangered a Little Fish and Killed a River

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A lawsuit requires money for collecting scientific evidence and for coping with avalanches of procedural assaults and informational demands from opposing lawyers. Regardless of the merits of their positions, those attorneys can crush worthy cases under unbearable burdens of “discovery” depositions and interrogatories, as well as a flood of dismissive public relations. A citizen lawsuit also requires untold hours in researching, writing, and presenting legal arguments in a gauntlet of court proceedings.

Map created by Nathan Bress and author; Wagner photo: Tennessee Valley Authority) Time, a River, and the Tennessee Valley Authority 17 would be called Tellico Dam, after the little river that joined the Little T at Fort Loudoun. Once a project has a name, it takes on a life of its own. A name gives it a concrete identity and drives bureaucratic momentum. The name “Tellico Dam” instantly provided a tangible reference for Wagner’s staff. It implied highly focused capital investment and a set of stirring images—mighty concrete piers, thundering spillways, and clouds of white spume, with electrical towers in the background.

They needn’t have worried so much: soon enough TVA’s young iconoclasts were transformed by the Appalachian Eden into utility company executives, and they became the core of the region’s political establishment and social elite. They didn’t move back North, and they no longer represented anything approaching socialism. To a man, federal appointees sent 14 Time, a River, and the Tennessee Valley Authority down to Tennessee in the early Eisenhower years with marching orders to shrink and privatize the agency did the opposite, broadly extending the agency’s regional footprint.

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