Environment •  Southwest and Western History

$19.95 paperback

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Gila: The Life and Death of an American River

Updated and Expanded Edition

Gregory McNamee

For sixty million years, the Gila River, longer than the Hudson and the Delaware combined, has shaped the ecology of the Southwest from its source in New Mexico to its confluence with the Colorado River in Arizona. Today, for at least half its length, the Gila is dead, like so many of the West’s great rivers, owing to overgrazing, damming, and other practices. This richly documented cautionary tale narrates the Gila’s natural and human history. Now updated, McNamee’s study traces recent efforts to resuscitate portions of this important riparian corridor.


Gregory McNamee is a widely published author, editor, and photographer who lives in Tucson, Arizona.


“To restore the river, (McNamee) calls for reforesting the highlands, appropriate agriculture, removal of the dams and new federal policies. This is important reading for environmentalists.”


Publishers Weekly

“In this popular environmental history McNamee . . . gives a well-crafted account of the birth, life, and death of one of the Southwest’s major rivers. This chronological approach works well in tracing the development, decay, and ultimate desiccation of the Gila River. The work adds dimensions not found in earlier historical accounts of the river . . . Highly recommended for general readers and undergraduates.”


Library Journal

6 x 8 in. 240 pages 77 halftones