The 304-page book is the ultimate story of the state’s third largest river after the Mississippi and Missouri and is a must for anyone who ever has visited or fished on the Osage, including Lake of the Ozarks, Truman, Stockton and Pomme de Terre lakes, all once part of the Osage or its tributaries.
I learned an immense amount from this book. There are vignettes in it about unique geographical features that made me want immediately to jump in the car and drive to see. The history of the sordid financial machinations that led to the building of Bagnell Dam, and the political machinations that led to the building of Truman Dam, should serve as a cautionary tale for anyone who steps into the swirling waters of development politics. I will be pulling this book from my shelf to look up a fact or a photo for years to come.
Flipping through it, the number of photos, documents and the dense type, set in four columns across the page spread said that a lot of research, work and passion had been poured into this compilation of 70 years of mid-Missouri history, natural history, politics, economic development, conflict, drama and the eternal triangle that always arises over water had ensued: the place where politicians, money and those arguing on the side of natural resources arise in bloody battle.
The Osage River, its ecology twice assaulted in Missouri by massive dams, is documented from its earliest history to the present day by this talented team of photographer and writer. The story of the river and its transmutation is told in moving and sometimes lyrical language, augmented on every page by color photographs. A must read for Missourians, especially those concerned about the future of our most precious natural resource the land.
-W. Raymond Wood, PhD, Professor Emeritus, Department of Anthropology, University of Missouri-Columbia
Damming the Osage: The Conflicted Story of Lake of the Ozarks and Truman Reservoir is an in-depth history of how human development permanently transformed the upper Osage watershed. Two great dams have changed parts of the river into reservoirs, and the impact of this change upon the land and the people who call it home has been phenomenal. Lavishing illustrated with striking color photographs or historic black-and-white photographs on practically every page, Damming the Osage is part American history and part environmental history, yet retells true events and individual stories with the flair and excitement of an adventure novel. An altogether enthralling and seminal contribution to both public and college library shelves, highly recommended.
-Midwest Book Review
This is a well-researched and fascinating compilation, which brings to light many topics that government agencies and business figures wish they could keep safely hidden beneath their jargon-filled reports, far from the public’s eye. The Osage River region has been greatly altered, and those who helped to change it, often did so with false justifications that the Paytons neatly lay out for the reader. It’s an important book for those who live in and care about the targeted area. It’s also a cautionary tale for those who live untouched by hydroelectric power fallout and the controversies it brings.
-an important book – A reader
This well written book is very informative about the historical and logistical matters revolving around the damming of the Osage. The illustrations are vivid and of the utmost quality. I would recommend this book for anybody that it interested in this region’s history.
-Delightfully Informative – A reader
-Amazing amount of information and pictures! – A reader