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Killing the Hidden Waters Paperback – November 1, 2003


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Killing the Hidden Waters + Roots of Resistance: A History of Land Tenure in New Mexico + Manifest Destinies: The Making of the Mexican American Race
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 206 pages
  • Publisher: University of Texas Press (November 1, 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0292743068
  • ISBN-13: 978-0292743069
  • Product Dimensions: 9.1 x 5.6 x 0.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 10.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #325,646 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

"This slender book brims with wisdom and scholarship." Harold Scarlett, Houston Post "Charles Bowden's Killing the Hidden Waters is the best all-around summary I've read yet, anywhere, of how our greed-driven, ever-expanding urbanindustrial empire is consuming, wasting, poisoning and destroying not only the resource basis of its own existence but also the vital, sustaining basis of all life everywhere. This one little book tells the whole story. In my opinion, Charles Bowden is the best social critic and environmental journalist now working in the Amcrican southwest, a sharp and engaging writer who never lets his cool disgust at our collective stupidity erode his fundamental sympathy for thc actual living, breathing, still hopeful human beings who inhabit this besieged land. I salute him, and I wish him a million readers." Edward Abbey, author of Beyond the Wall and other books

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13 of 13 people found the following review helpful By Will Miner on June 18, 2002
Format: Paperback
Although Marc Reisner's "Cadillac Desert" is the most encyclopedic book about the West and its problems with water, this book actually gets closer to the bone of what's wrong with the way we in the US live in our desert climes. The book focuses first on how the O'odham and Pima indian cultures managed to live sustainably in the Sonoran Desert with its unpredictable and rare water flows. While I doubt that many of us but the most idealistic and romantic would want to live the life of these peoples, there is a certain genius in the ways they made the land and its water work for them that we could do well to learn from. Bowden contrasts this with the civilization the European cultures came and built during the last 150 years, a civilization built on "mining" the ice-age aquifers so rapidly that they will soon be drained once and for all. Having turned the plains to a dust bowl, will we just pack up and move on as we always have in the past?
In his later books, Bowden's bitter spleen often spills uncontrollably from his pen, but his tone here is much more restrained. In "Waters," his voice is almost scholarly scholarly and tinged with sad wisdom. This is a great book, and one that deserves far more readers.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Will Miner on June 18, 2002
Format: Paperback
Although Marc Reisner's "Cadillac Desert" is the most encyclopedic book about the West and its problems with water, this book actually gets closer to the bone of what's wrong with the way we in the US live in our desert climes. The book focuses first on how the O'odham and Pima indian cultures managed to live sustainably in the Sonoran Desert with its unpredictable and rare water flows. While I doubt that many of us but the most idealistic and romantic would want to live the life of these peoples, there is a certain genius in the ways they made the land and its water work for them that we could do well to learn from. Bowden contrasts this with the civilization the European cultures came and built during the last 150 years, a civilization built on "mining" the ice-age aquifers so rapidly that they will soon be drained once and for all. Having turned the plains to a dust bowl, will we just pack up and move on as we always have in the past?
In his later books, Bowden's bitter spleen often spills uncontrollably from his pen, but his tone here is much more restrained. In "Waters," his voice is almost scholarly scholarly and tinged with sad wisdom. This is a great book, and one that deserves far more readers.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By L. West on July 31, 2008
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I came across Charles Bowden's name while reading "God's Middle Finger" and decided to track down some of his works. Started out with The Secret Forest, moved on to Desierto: Memories of the Future, and next to Killing the Hidden Waters. I would recommend this book to anyone interested in the American Southwest, its indigenous peoples, the politics of water and development past and future, conservation, or ecology in general. As the cover quote from Edward Abbey states, "Charles Bowden is the best social critic and environmental journalist now working in the American Southwest."
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By Amazon Customer on October 22, 2012
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I read Charles Bowden in college and really liked his book Blue Desert. Blue Desert was artful, nicely written, not heavy handed on the politics and a pleasure to read. This book, Killing the Hidden Waters was a different story. Motivated by a belief back in the 90's that Phoenix was about to run dry, Chuck made his case over and over and over, unsuccessfully as it turns out. Tediously written and with no artistic flourish that I could find anywhere in the tome, Bowden left this reader thirsty and parched. The material is of course very dated now, even after a newer forward authored about a decade back.

I would not recommend the book.
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By B. D. Hamilton on September 6, 2014
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
EXCELLENT BOOK! It's been passed around so much that it has become lost. It's a great way to learn to appreciate surviving in a semi-arid country and the VALUE of our water!!!!!
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