Killing the Hidden Waters
206 pages, 6 x 9
36 b&w illus.
Release Date:01 Nov 2003

Killing the Hidden Waters

University of Texas Press

In the quarter-century since his first book, Killing the Hidden Waters, was published in 1977, Charles Bowden has become one of the premier writers on the American environment, rousing a generation of readers to both the wonder and the tragedy of humanity's relationship with the land.

Revisiting his earliest work with a new introduction, "What I Learned Watching the Wells Go Down," Bowden looks back at his first effort to awaken people to the costs and limits of using natural resources through a simple and obvious example—water. He drives home the point that years of droughts, rationing, and even water wars have done nothing to slake the insatiable consumption of water in the American West. Even more timely now than in 1977, Killing the Hidden Waters remains, in Edward Abbey's words, "the best all-around summary I've read yet, anywhere, of how our greed-driven, ever-expanding urban-industrial empire is consuming, wasting, poisoning, and destroying not only the resource basis of its own existence, but also the vital, sustaining basis of life everywhere."

Charles Bowden lived and wrote in Tucson, Arizona. His recent books include Down by the
River: Drugs, Money, Murder, and Family, Blues for Cannibals: Notes from Underground, Blood
Orchid: An Unnatural History of America, and Desierto: Memories of the Future.
  • Acknowledgements
  • Introduction (2003)
  • Part One
    • 1. The lay of the land
      • Yield
      • Place
      • People
    • 2. Stick
      • People
      • Food
      • Way
      • Dreams
    • 3. Shovel
    • 4. Tractor
      • Gila River
      • Papaguería
    • 5. Conquest
      • The last cut
  • Part Two
    • 1. Pump
      • Grass
      • Wind
      • Fossil
      • Plan
  • Part Three
    • 1. Taking Care of Business
      • Concentration and energy cost
      • The debate
      • Look again
  • Notes
  • Bibliography
  • Index
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