They have opened new frontiers, founded cities, settled borders, and fed billions of us. They promote life, forge peace, grant power, and capriciously destroy everything in their path. Rivers, more than any road, technology, or political leader, have shaped the course of civilisation. And even as they have become increasingly domesticated, they remain a powerful global force, one that is more critical than ever to our future. Geographer Laurence C. Smith tells the sweeping story of rivers and how they made us.