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Synopsis

A riotous journey through America's most controversial, beautifully unapproachable, and abused wilderness -- the Florida Everglades.

In December 2000, President Clinton signed into law a $7.8 billion restoration plan for the Everglades that garnered national attention and has since become America's touchstone for environmental issues. Enter W. Hodding Carter, a man already bemused by the state of Florida and determined to see what, if any, progress has been made with the Everglades. For reasons unclear even to him, this amazing, remote, mosquito-infested, hard-to-love region has captured Carter's imagination and won't let go. So, for the past few years, Carter has examined the Everglades from all angles -- social, political, cultural, environmental -- culminating in an ungodly canoe trip through the heart of the Everglades.

But this being Hodding Carter -- a man who sailed a Viking ship dressed in serge for one book and followed in the footsteps of Lewis and Clark for another -- a canoe trip the length of the Everglades is merely the tip of the iceberg. Stolen Water finds him adopting a manatee, and auditioning to be a mermaid at Weeki Wachee Springs -- not enough that he reports on things, he actually has to do them, too, often to hilarious effect. In the end, though, his tireless reporting reveals the Everglades as never before. Not content with merely observing, he also interviews all the key players, from environmentalists to sugar farmers to Senator Bob Graham, and gives them just enough rope to hang themselves.

Always humane, often controversial, and highly readable, Hodding Carter has brought to life this murky, alluring place through his powerful eyewitness account and swampy mishaps. Stolen Water is narrative nonfiction at its best, from one of our most talented and funny writers.

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