God made the earth, but the Dutch made Holland."" This old saying reflects the extent of land reclamation in both north and south Holland. The sea was always an unwelcome invader: even the early Frisians built ""terps"" (protective mounds). Not until the 17th century was any far-reaching project initiated--the windmills of Jan Adriaanszoon (commonly known as Leeghwater). Cornelius Lely took it from there almost 300 years later with a reclamation program that involved enormous planning, resolution--and rotary trenchers. A series of polder farms (that aerially look like soup plates) evolved, and the government allotted land according to strict regulations. The floods of 1953 dramatized the need for more substantial work in the south; the Delta Project is expected to be completed within the next decade. Lauber's Battle Against the Sea (1956) concentrates on the efforts immediately after the 1953 floods in a style that turns personal observation into pleasurable reading. The Golden Band, not nearly so readable, is nevertheless more explicit about Dutch history and elaborates on the developments through the past year.