The River Radius Podcast

The Book: "Rivers of Power"

Episode Summary

Dr. Laurence C. Smith is a professor, river researcher and author. His most recent book, "Rivers of Power," is a tour of humans’ consistent pursuit of living next to rivers through time, and how in our modern times, humans are rerouting rivers and choosing how water moves and is used. Dr Smith provides insight into the connections of human culture and rivers that we easily overlook

Episode Notes

"Rivers of Power"was published in 2020.  It covers humans' history with rivers from some of the earliest civilizations to the most powerful nations today and how water is possibly the greatest natural capital.  

Rivers, their water and their usefulness for society has not changed.  What is changing is how humans can and do move that water from source to a place of use.  This episode explores great canals that are under construction, massive dams that are creating international tensions, efforts to use water over and over and over.  

Our human relationship with rivers is ongoing and morphing and simultaneously static.  Dr. Smith seems to know this and is able to explain this through cultures and time.  

Dr. Laurence C. Smith was a professor at UCLA for 20 years in the Geography Department and now teaches at Brown University.  He also conducts research in the northern arctic learning about rivers that form from the ice melt of glaciers.  

Videos and links of Dr. Smiths arctic work and research:


The River Radius Podcast