Mesa Public Library’s Authors Speak Series presents G. Emlen Hall and Fred Phillps: Reining in the Rio Grande

Authors Speak Series presents G. Emlen Hall and Fred Phillips
Authors of Reining in the Rio Grande: People, Land, and Water

Thursday, March 22, 2012   7:00 PM   Upstairs Rotunda    Mesa Public Library

“ Reining in the Rio Grande has brought many benefits to those who live in its valley, but the benefits have come at a price. The following chapters…examine the long span of river between its headwaters and where it reaches the borders of Texas and New Mexico, exploring what is gained, what is lost, and what possibilities remain for a desert river when a tide of civilization, history, and technology sweeps over it.” From the Prologue of Reining in the Rio Grande
Mesa Public Library’s Authors Speak Series presents a talk on one of the most critical issues in New Mexico and the southwest: water and in particular, the Rio Grande. This thought provoking study by three authors in very different fields examines the history of the Rio Grande from many angles.
From publisher, UNM Press: The Rio Grande was ancient long before the first humans reached its banks. These days, the highly regulated river looks nothing like it did to those early settlers. Alternately viewed as a valuable ecosystem and life-sustaining foundation of community welfare or a commodity to be engineered to yield  maximum economic benefit, the Rio Grande has brought many advantages to those who live in its valley, but the benefits have come at a price.

This study examines human interactions with the Rio Grande from prehistoric time to the present day and explores what possibilities remain for the desert river. From the perspectives of law, development, tradition, and geology, the authors weigh what has been gained and lost by reining in the Rio Grande.

The Authors Speak Series is a monthly event featuring local and statewide authors speaking about their writing on a variety of subjects such as local and state history, travel, outdoor activities, New Mexico fiction, Native American history and culture, poetry, and more.  The series is funded by the Friends of Mesa Public Library. The talks are free and begin at 7:00 PM,  followed by the opportunity to meet the authors and enjoy refreshments. Some authors may participate with book sales and signings.

About the Authors:
Fred M. Phillips directs the hydrology program in the department of earth and environmental sciences at the New Mexico Institute of Mining and Technology.

G. Emlen Hall is professor emeritus in the School of Law at the University of New Mexico. His most recent book is High and Dry (UNM Press).

Reviews  for  Reining in the Rio Grande:

“This is a fascinating and perturbing story that brims over with rich details and oddball personalitites populating what the authors describe as ‘the Rube Goldberg world of Rio Grande water.’ Though the river’s history is complex and baffling, this book makes it lucid, coherent, and very exciting, showing how the magnificent river works and has been reworked over time to ‘benefit’ ther human community that exploits its finite bounties. It is remarkable for such a concise book to be so thorough and illuminating, and also a lot of fun.

“ Not only a colorful and careful overview, this is a serious examination of the human  past, present, and very uncertain future. It is a cautionary tale and an important one, a must-read for students of water politics. It is an energetic and priceless primer on the development of the Rio Grand from pre-Columbian times to the very uncertain present day.” John Nichols, author of The Milagro Beanfield War.

“If you want a thorough understanding of New Mexico’s stretch of the great river and its dilemmas, this compact book is the place to start.” — Green Fire Times

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