Gilbert F. White
might be, rather than just racking up a list of so many dollars damage per
year over whatever is the convenient period of record.
Q: Well, we were talking about some of these early essays dealing with human
occupance of floodplains that you were involved in after you came back to the
University of Chicago. Was Murphy's the first one that came out in 1958,
or had there been an earlier one?
A: It was the first one that followed the basic one on changes in urban
Q: The one that you had done?
A: The first was a joint effort. Then, we had a series of special studies, one by
Jack Sheaffer on flood-proofing, which was a recognition of another gap that
we saw as we tried to put together a broader theory of how societies make
decisions about floodplains. That was supported by Jim Goddard in the TVA.
Q: By about 1960 then do you feel you had a fairly articulated idea about an
alternative approach to floodplain management? In other words, a
nonstructural approach versus structural?
A: I'd say by the early sixties. By the mid-sixties.
Q: In 1959, as I recollect, the Senate, perhaps partly in response to some of the
Eisenhower administration policies, developed a select committee to examine
Q: And out of this came, well, some issues from the Kennedy administration.