Think Big, I think, is the thought we’re supposed to think and, indeed, I think there is no country in the world where people are thinking bigger, there is no place, I think, where the conditions enable people to even imagine projects of the size that you’ve just seen here: the Three Gorges Dam.
Click play to listen. Recorded on October 11, 2008.
The world’s largest and arguably most notorious dam stretches nearly a mile and a half across the Yangtze River in China. More than ten years in the making and still incomplete, the Three Gorges Dam has created a 400-mile reservoir and displaced at least one million people. Orville Schell, a long-time to The New Yorker, author of Virtual Tibet: Searching for Shangri-La from The Himalayas To Hollywood (2000) and Mandate of Heaven: The Legacy of Tiananmen Square and the Next Generation of China's Leaders (1995), and director of the Center on U.S.-China Relations at the Deirdre Chetham, executive director of the Harvard Asia Center and author of Before the Deluge: The Vanishing World of the Yangtze’s Three Gorges, examine the various impacts—human, cultural, environmental, and political—of the biggest hydroelectric plant in the world.
Above: Liu Xiadong, Hotbed (detail), 2005, oil on canvas, in five panels. Courtesy of the artist.