I consider James Lawrence Powell's book to be a worthy successor to Marc Reisner's Cadillac Desert. (See several posts on the book over at Waterwired.)
A "dead pool" of water behind a dam is too low for water to flow into the intakes that drive the turbines that generate electricity. A dead pool is an engineering nightmare; it means that the dam is not holding back enough water to generate power, let alone buffer highs (floods that threaten communities) or lows (droughts that limit irrigation). JL Powell* follows in Reisner's tradition, also documenting the abuses of rivers and dams by bureaucrats and engineers who enjoy job security as they block one river after another. Powell's book differs in its examination of how deep the delusion runs (Reisner wrote when climate change was still emergent as a concern) as well as his fatalistic -- and well justified -- contemplation of a world where dams built for bad reasons are not just a waste of money, but a barrier to natural flows that would be dangerous even if the dams cost nothing.