Sunday, June 02, 2013

The Snail Darter and the Dam

Thirty years ago, Zygmunt J.B. Plater, now Professor of Law at Boston College Law School, worked with his students to fight and win the case known as Tennessee Valley Authority v. Hill in the Supreme Court of the United States. His new book, The Snail Darter and the Dam: How Pork-Barreled Politics Endangered a Little Fish and Killed a River, tells all.

TVA v. Hill is one of my favorite cases. This eminently readable account of the full history of the case is even more interesting than the story told in Warren Burger’s opinion for the Court (or my memory of the oral argument and the shifting positions of the Justices in my book, Five Chiefs). The author’s account of how President Carter rejected the 'God Committee’s' verdict  about the darter is especially so.”
   - Hon. Justice John Paul Stevens, Supreme Court of the United States [retired]

“The story of the snail darter and the TVA is the Thermopylae in the history of America’s conservation movement, and this book by Zygmunt Plater deserves to be the classic telling of it.”
   - Edward O. Wilson, Harvard University