Winner of the 2017 New Mexico-Arizona Book Award for History Book - Other
Weaving together landscape and memory, this book presents historical photographs of the Río Grande of the American Southwest. The dynamic Río Grande has run through all the valley's diverse cultures: Puebloan, Spanish, Mexican, and Anglo. Photography arrived in the region at the beginning of the river's great transformation by trade, industry, and cultivation. In Río Savage has collected images that document the sweeping history of that transformation--from those of nineteenth-century expeditionary photographer W. H. Jackson to the work of the great twentieth-century chronicler of the river, Laura Gilpin. The photographs are assembled in thematic bundles--river crossings, cultivation, trade, floods, the Mexican insurrection, the Big Bend region, and the estuary where the river at last meets the Gulf of Mexico. Essays by Rina Swentzell, G. Emlen Hall, Juan Estevan Arellano, Estella Leopold, Norma Elia Cantú, Jan Reid, and Dan Flores illuminate the images.
"Any resident of the Rio Grande watershed will love this book. . . . A humane, humanistic, and thematically attractive set of essays that are quickly read, enjoyed, and savored."New Mexico Historical Review
"A significant visual archive of the historical landscape, Río stands as an important contribution to the fields of geography, history, and photography. . . . An engaging visual history that leaves readers pondering the power of nature and its ability to shape human experience."--Southwestern Historical Quarterly
"Sparkles among the many books written about the Río Grande. Río captures the relationship between the river and those it touches with language and essays as evocative as the images themselves. Readers will be rewarded with a deeper understanding of the Río Grande through this spectacular book."--Evan R. Ward, author of Border Oasis: Water and the Political Ecology of the Colorado River Delta, 1940-1975
"Tremendously compelling. This book provides a great hint of what has once been as well as what could yet again be."--Jack Loeffler, author of Thinking Like a Watershed: Voices from the West