Jul 28, 2021gloryb rated this title 4 out of 5 stars
I found the author's information about why and how the oil and chemical companies got their foothold into the Bayou area of Louisiana most enlightening. Even when the pollution from these companies was a danger to the community, the state government failed to act and the courts could not be depended on to resolve the conflicting views as to who should pay for the cleanup. Local protest groups finally gave up and people in the affected community, just glad for jobs, continued on by ignoring the problems associated with pollution and by focussing on their own lives, their families, and social activities - things they could control. The description of how to prepare a fish for eating from those polluted waters was awful to read. It was also disturbing to read how public money was given to these chemical companies to attract them to the Bayou area and to help them expand, money that was taken from other state departments like Education. One feature I liked about the book was the author's inclusion of several Appendixes in which she reports on data from the research of others that show the inaccuracies of the established ideas held by the people she interviewed in the Bayou area. The author can't at first understand the Great Paradox when her Republican interviewees who live with the results of pollution in the Bayou, tell her that they don't want EPA interference. The author explains this way of thinking by referring to 2 phrases too many times - the line-up to attain the American Dream and the interviewees' deep stories ie cultural background. She sums up the current essential difference between the 2 US political parties and suggests a different divide between the two in the future - perhaps just on the horizon. The book is easy to read - as though the author is chatting to her readers - but includes End Notes to show her sources and lengthy Bibliography (mixture of books, websites, and journal articles) to show that her conclusions from this study has a basis in other people's published works.