Books About Land and Water Conflicts, and Colonialism

By Colleen Rowe | September 19 2022 | Environmental ScienceLiteratureHistoryHuman Geography

Here is a grouping of titles that explore land and water conflicts. From a travelogue and a storytelling of the past and present along the the Río Magdalena to the ordinary people in El Salvador who rallied together to prevent the poisoning of the country’s main water source to Ingrid Rojas Contreras’ intimate family history in Colombia to an Apache family struggling to protect sacred land from corporate interests, these books tell stories about the land, water, surrounding nature, and the people who aim to pay tribute to its value. These books capture the stories of those who frequent these different areas and describe how the history of the land and how their personal lives intertwine.

Every Day The River Changes
Four Weeks Down the Magdalena
978-1-64622-161-5
An exhilarating travelogue for a new generation about a journey along Colombia’s Magdalena River, exploring life by the banks of a majestic river now at risk, and how a country recovers from conflict. "Richly observed." —Liesl Schillinger, The New York Times Book Review
$16.95 US
Nov 15, 2022
Paperback
224 Pages
Catapult

The Water Defenders
How Ordinary People Saved a Country from Corporate Greed
978-0-8070-5540-3
Named one of The Progressive’s "Favorite Books of 2021" and one of the “Best of Books 2021” by Foreign Affairs
$16.95 US
Mar 29, 2022
Paperback
224 Pages
Beacon Press

Magdalena
River of Dreams: A Story of Colombia
978-0-375-72487-9
Magdalena is a captivating new book that brings vividly to life the story of the great Río Magdalena, illuminating Colombia’s complex past, present, and future.
$18.00 US
Jun 08, 2021
Paperback
448 Pages
Vintage

The Man Who Could Move Clouds
A Memoir
978-0-385-54666-9
For Ingrid Rojas Contreras, magic runs in the family. Raised amid the political violence of 1980s and ‘90s Colombia, in a house bustling with her mother’s fortune-telling clients, she was a hard child to surprise. Her maternal grandfather, Nono, was a renowned curandero, a community healer gifted with what the family called “the secrets”: the power to talk to the dead, tell the future, treat the sick, and move the clouds. And as the first woman to inherit “the secrets,” Rojas Contreras’ mother was just as powerful. Mami delighted in her ability to appear in two places at once, and she could cast out even the most persistent spirits with nothing more than a glass of water.
$30.00 US
Jul 12, 2022
Hardcover
320 Pages
Doubleday

Oak Flat
A Fight for Sacred Land in the American West
978-0-399-58973-7
A powerful work of visual nonfiction about three generations of an Apache family struggling to protect sacred land from a multinational mining corporation, by MacArthur "Genius" and National Book Award finalist Lauren Redniss, the acclaimed author of Thunder & Lightning.
$20.00 US
Nov 09, 2021
Paperback
288 Pages
Random House Trade Paperbacks


Bayou Farewell
The Rich Life and Tragic Death of Louisiana's Cajun Coast
978-0-375-72517-3
Mike Tidwell knew nothing of the disappearing bayou country when he first visited the Cajun coast of Louisiana, but the evidence was all around him: the skeletons of oak trees killed by the salinity of the groundwater, whole cemeteries sinking into swampland and out of sight, telephone poles in deep, standing water. Thanks to human hands, the storied Louisiana coast was eroding, subsiding, and joining the Gulf of Mexico—making it the fastest disappearing landmass on Earth. Yet no one seemed to know how to talk about the problem. Tidwell, a celebrated travel and environmental writer, decided to begin the much-needed conversation, and this vivid, elegiac book is the result.
$18.00 US
Mar 09, 2004
Paperback
384 Pages
Vintage

The Dreamt Land
Chasing Water and Dust Across California
978-1-101-91019-1
The Dreamt Land is a vivid, searching journey into California’s capture of water and soil—the epic story of a people’s defiance of nature and the wonders, and ruin, it has wrought.
$18.00 US
Apr 07, 2020
Paperback
576 Pages
Vintage