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And the Waters Turned to Blood Audio Cassette – Abridged, Mar 1997

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: HASH(0xa00a5570) out of 5 stars 37 reviews
12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x9e7732ac) out of 5 stars A perfect example of how far the bureaucracy can go to 10 Aug. 2000
By George Washington - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
This was a book that I just could not put down for the life of me. I had a test a school but instead of studying, I read this book. Shocking!!!!
A compelling book that portrays the gauntlet of bureaucracy that Dr. JoAnn Burkholder had to ordeal when she discovered something in the waters off of the Eastern Seaboard. The leaders of N.C.'s DEM, and the DEHNR showed their obvious distaste for her and her work when this information proved to be threatening "the machine" of business as usual.
What's most shocking about the whole things is 1. The lengths that the health department officials will go to cover this up, and truly not deal with an obvious health crisis; and 2. THIS IS A TRUE STORY that is still unfolding today off the East Coast.
Well written and with courage. 5 - stars!
"Get into the fight before it's too late"
11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x9e773300) out of 5 stars Here's the book I've been waiting for 8 July 1998
By A. McFarland - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
Here's the book I've been waiting for, about pfiesteria piscicida (feast-eer-ee-ah pis-ki-seed-ah), the microscopic animal that is terrorizing the waters up and down the east coast of the U.S. (and perhaps coming soon to a waterway near you).
The main focus of the book is top researcher JoAnn Burkholder, and her struggle to get beyond the politics and bureaucracy of various agencies in North Carolina, in order to obtain funding to continue her research on the organism. The increased water pollution in recent years, in the form of livestock-manure runoff, and dumpings from industry, have created an environment that favors the flourishing of pfiesteria. It has at least 24 stages of life cycle, remaining in a dormant cyst stage until it senses the presence of fish. Then it comes to life, zapping the fish with a kind of neurotoxin and then eating holes in the fish. Humans who come into contact with water in which pfiesteria (in its toxic stage) is present, often suffer skin lesions that won't heal, memory loss, and disorientation. Chronic exposure can lead to personality changes and loss of cognitive function that emulates brain damage, which is what happened to lab worker Howard Glasgow, whose story is discussed in detail in this book.
It is a tale that seems familiar: a strong-willed scientist makes a major discovery about what is killing fish in North Carolina's waterways. Then she has to deal with greedy and jealous scientists who wish they had been the ones to make the discovery, and who try to ruin her career. Then she must face the media attention, and finds herself becoming an advocate for the citizens, who simply want to know if that thing that is harming the fish can harm humans too. There is plenty of anecdotal evidence to say YES. But the stuffed shirts in the government agencies don't want to hear it: swayed by money, rather than truth and justice, it's business as usual. Then there is the classic conflict between jobs vs. environment. When fishermen are getting too sick to function, an! d all the fish are dead, anybody with a brain would choose "environment" over "job". Wouldn't they?
Next time I'm near a body of water where dead fish covered with bloody lesions are floating, I plan to run fast in the opposite direction.
11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x9e773738) out of 5 stars Be scared. Be very scared. 20 Aug. 1997
By A Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Barker's AND THE WATERS TURNED TO BLOOD is a whooping good, well-told true story of thoughtful, good-natured people being screwed by egomanical, backside-covering bureaucrats and scientists who certain reviewers on-line would rather believe aren't really such bad guys. I, for one, am wholly convinced by Barker's careful investigation and analysis and am wholly sympathetic to the obvious Good Guys in this book.
To what degree were everyday Germans responsible for the Nazi Holocaust? Similarly, to what degree are the recalcitrant American media responsible for not covering wildly important stories such as the Pfiesteria plague, wholly preventable if greedy industries were forced to comply with precepts of human decency by being fined heavily for polluting? (Only a self-interested beaureacratic bimbo would deny the link between industrial pollution and the explosion of Pfiesteria blooms.)
Last week the Chesapeake Bay area was decimated by fishkills and Pfiesteria. Next week it will be some place else. Meanwhile, the media largely ignores the topic to avoid "mass hysteria" and to keep the profits flowing. To what degree are you, dear reader, responsible for not learning more about Pfiesteria by reading this book and then by making some irate phone calls and writing some irate letters because you'd enjoy a healthy America for future generations?
Our greatest living novelist, Kurt Vonnegut, suggests in an essay that carved on a Grand Canyon wall in great big letters for the flying-saucer people who arrive in a hundred years and find a dead planet with no people should be these messages: "WE PROBABLY COULD HAVE SAVED OURSELVES BUT WERE TOO DAMNED LAZY TO TRY VERY HARD. AND TOO DAMNED CHEAP." Rodney Barker's superlative book certainly supports this idea.
Richard Rhodes' DEADLY FEASTS, about the American Med-Cow disease cover-up, also supports Vonnegut's idea: we are too lazy and cheap to save ourselves
10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x9e77375c) out of 5 stars And the Waters Turned to Blood 10 Feb. 2004
By Kelly Short - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
Rodney Barker did an excellent job at enlightening his readers of the dangers of pollution, the devastating effects of Pfiesteria, and the power of a political machine. The tale developes the story of one dedicated scientists fighting to make the world aware of the rise of a toxic dinoflagellate. A professor at North Carolina State University, Dr. JoAnn Burkholder never imagined being presented with such a massive problem on her hands. After identifying the morphing dinoflagellate as Pfiesteria piscicida, Burkholder realized that her troubles would not stop at trying to identify characteristics of the organism; Burkkholder's biggest obstacle was trying to gain support for research from her peers, concerned citizens, and the North Carolina Department of Environmental Management. Eventually, fellow colleagues would believe her claim but the government only saw Burkholder as an annoyance needed to be silenced. At the same time, Pfiesteria was reeking havoc with numerous fish kills and reports of human symptoms including short-term memory loss and severe mood swings.
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x9e773be8) out of 5 stars A very important and exciting read! 29 Aug. 1998
By A Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
Who says truth isn't stranger than fiction? Rodney Barker's book "And the Waters Turned to Blood" reads as good or better than any scientific-politico thriller I have ever encountered! It has the heroines and heroes, the villains and buffoons, the suspense and emotional tension, everything to make a good story. Yet, this is no work of fiction, it is a true testimonial to a rare form of tenacity, a commitment to scientific integrity unusual in this day of fraudulent scientific and medical practices. It is the true story of JoAnn Burkholder, Ph.D., a bright young woman, part Cherokee, and freshly appointed assistant professor of aquatic biology at North Carolina State, Raleigh, North Carolina, plowing her way into a male dominated profession. While dinoflagellates had been part of her general algal studies in college, not a great deal was generally known about them, and calls from the Department of Veterinary Medicine to assist in identifying what was killing off the aquarium fish was not exactly her cup of tea. Her very survival depended upon the writing of successful grant proposals in her own field and these calls to do animal studies were intruding greatly upon her time, patience, and commitment elsewhere. But fate prevailed and JoAnn Burkholder was launched into a program that changed her life. With the identification of Pfiesteria piscicida as the destructive killer dinoflagellate, the "cell from hell" firmly established along with observation of up 24 different life-cycle stages, surviving in salt and fresh water alike, unicellular animal replete with cyst, flagellated swimmer, flesh eating peduncle, and killer amoebic stages, JoAnn Burkholder rapidly became the expert capable of solving the Pamlico Sound fish kill mystery as well. The fact that this little killer was also the generator of some of the most potent neurotoxins known to man, and did indeed induce serious human symptoms in the local fishermen, only heightens the severity and tension in our tale. The story of her fight to bring regulatory sanity to the Department of Environment, Health and Natural Resources in an atmosphere of professional jealously, parochial self-interest, bureaucratic inertia, and outright fraud makes this a real thriller for all. Can JoAnn Burkholder hold up her end against the system, can she succeed where countless vested interests with vast financial and influential resources have forged a system subservient to their own interest or at best simply torpid to the public need? This is a read which is hard to put down, informative, thrilling, angering, and inciteful to action.
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