From the “dean of Western writers” (The New York Times) and the Pulitzer Prize winning–author of Angle of Repose and Crossing to Safety, a fascinating look at the old American West and the man who prophetically warned against the dangers of settling it In Beyond the Hundredth Meridian, Wallace Stegner recounts the sucesses and frustrations of John Wesley Powell, the distinguished ethnologist and geologist who explored the Colorado River, the Grand Canyon, and the homeland of Indian tribes of the American Southwest. A prophet without honor who had a profound understanding of the American West, Powell warned long ago of the dangers economic exploitation would pose to the West and spent a good deal of his life overcoming Washington politics in getting his message across. Only now, we may recognize just how accurate a prophet he was.
Author: Charles F. Wilkinson
Publisher: Island Press
Release Date: 1993-06-01
In Crossing the Next Meridian, Charles F. Wilkinson, an expert on federal public lands, Native American issues, and the West's arcane water laws explains some of the core problems facing the American West now and in the years to come. He examines the outmoded ideas that pervade land use and resource allocation and argues that significant reform of Western law is needed to combat desertification and environmental decline, and to heal splintered communities. Interweaving legal history with examples of present-day consequences of the laws, both intended and unintended, Wilkinson traces the origins and development of the laws and regulations that govern mining, ranching, forestry, and water use. He relates stories of Westerners who face these issues on a day-to-day basis, and discusses what can and should be done to bring government policies in line with the reality of twentieth-century American life.
Author: John Wesley Powell
Publisher: Cosimo, Inc.
Release Date: 2008-12-01
Since we left the Colorado Chiquito we have seen no evidences that the tribe of Indians inhabiting the plateaus on either side ever come down to the river; but about eleven o'clock to-day we discover an Indian garden at the foot of the wall on the right, just where a little stream with a narrow flood plain comes down through a side canyon. Along the valley the Indians have planted corn, using for irrigation the water which bursts out in springs at the foot of the cliff. The corn is looking quite well, but it is not sufficiently advanced to give us roasting ears; but there are some nice green squashes. We carry ten or a dozen of these on board our boats and hurriedly leave, not willing to be caught in the robbery, yet excusing ourselves by pleading our great want. -from "August 26" Sometimes published under the name The Exploration of the Colorado River and Its Canyons, but more properly known by its original title, Canyons of the Colorado is the gripping personal account of the first navigation of the Colorado River, in 1869, by the man who led the journey. American geologist and explorer JOHN WESLEY POWELL (1834-1902), head of the Powell Geographic Expedition and later director of the U.S. Geological Survey, here regales us with the thrilling tale of the ten-man team and its assignment to map the last unmapped regions of the western territories of the United States. The highlight of their three-month trip: the first known river journey through the wildness of the Grand Canyon. This replica of the 1895 edition includes all the original halftone illustrations. A classic of real-life adventure literature, it continues to captivate armchair explorers today.
Author: Donald Worster
Publisher: Oxford University Press, USA
Release Date: 2002
John Wesley Powell, the great American explorer and environmental pioneer, embodied the energy, optimism, and westward impulse of the young United States. "A River Running West" is a gorgeously written, magisterial account of this towering figure, a true story of undaunted courage. 42 halftones. 7 maps.
Author: Edward Dolnick
Publisher: Harper Collins
Release Date: 2009-03-17
0n May 24, 1869, a one-armed Civil War veteran named John Wesley Powell and a ragtag band of nine mountain men embarked on the last great quest in the American West. No one had ever explored the fabled Grand Canyon; to adventurers of that era it was a region almost as mysterious as Atlantis -- and as perilous. The ten men set out down the mighty Colorado River in wooden rowboats. Six survived. Drawing on rarely examined diaries and journals, Down the Great Unknown is the first book to tell the full, true story.
Written over a 25-year period, during a time when the West witnessed rapid changes to its cultural and natural heritage, the essays, memoirs, letters and speeches contained in "The Sound of Mountain Water" established Wallace Stegner's reputation as an important conservationist and novelist.
"The definitive work on the West's water crisis." --Newsweek The story of the American West is the story of a relentless quest for a precious resource: water. It is a tale of rivers diverted and dammed, of political corruption and intrigue, of billion-dollar battles over water rights, of ecological and economic disaster. In his landmark book, Cadillac Desert, Marc Reisner writes of the earliest settlers, lured by the promise of paradise, and of the ruthless tactics employed by Los Angeles politicians and business interests to ensure the city's growth. He documents the bitter rivalry between two government giants, the Bureau of Reclamation and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, in the competition to transform the West. Based on more than a decade of research, Cadillac Desert is a stunning expose and a dramatic, intriguing history of the creation of an Eden--an Eden that may only be a mirage. From the Trade Paperback edition.
Bo Mason and his wife and two boys live a transient life of poverty and despair; drifting from town to town, the violent, ruthless Bo seeks his fortune. Stegner has created a masterful, harrowing saga of a family trying to survive during the lean years of the early 20th century.
Author: Wallace Earle Stegner
Publisher: Random House Inc
Release Date: 1992-03-01
Genre: Biography & Autobiography
A collection of anecdotal essays makes up the memoirs of an honored writer, conservationist, and teacher as he describes the culture of the West, as well as the region's landscape, literature, and character. 30,000 first printing. $30,000 ad/promo. Tour.
Stegner’s Pulitzer Prize-winning novel of personal, historical, and geographic discovery Confined to a wheelchair, retired historian Lyman Ward sets out to write his grandparents' remarkable story, chronicling their days spent carving civilization into the surface of America's western frontier. But his research reveals even more about his own life than he's willing to admit. What emerges is an enthralling portrait of four generations in the life of an American family. "Cause for celebration . . . A superb novel with an amplitude of scale and richness of detail altogether uncommon in contemporary fiction." —The Atlantic Monthly "Brilliant . . . Two stories, past and present, merge to produce what important fiction must: a sense of the enchantment of life." —Los Angeles Times This Penguin Classics edition features an introduction by Jackson J. Benson. For more than sixty-five years, Penguin has been the leading publisher of classic literature in the English-speaking world. With more than 1,500 titles, Penguin Classics represents a global bookshelf of the best works throughout history and across genres and disciplines. Readers trust the series to provide authoritative texts enhanced by introductions and notes by distinguished scholars and contemporary authors, as well as up-to-date translations by award-winning translators.
Literary agent Joe Allston, the central character of Stegner's novel All the Little Live Things, is now retired and, in his own words, 'just killing time until time gets around to killing me.' His parents and his only son are long dead, leaving him with neither ancestors nor descendants, tradition nor ties. His job, trafficking the talent of others, had not been his choice. He passes through life as a spectator. A postcard from an old friend causes Allston to return to the journals of a trip he and his wife had taken years before, a journey to his mother's birthplace, where he'd sought a link with the past. The memories of that trip, both grotesque and poignant, move through layers of time and meaning, and reveal that Joe Allston isn't quite spectator enough. Wallace Stegner was the author of, among other works of fiction, Remembering Laughter (1973); The Big Rock Candy Mountain (1943); Joe Hill (1950); All the Little Live Things (1967, Commonwealth Club Gold Medal); A Shooting Star (1961); Angle of Repose (1971, Pulitzer Prize); Recapitulation (1979); Crossing to Safety (1987); and Collected Stories (1990). His nonfiction includes Beyond the Hundredth Meridian (1954); Wolf Willow (1963); The Sound of Mountain Water (essays, 1969); The Uneasy Chair: A Biography of Bernard deVoto (1964); American Places (with Page Stegner, 1981); and Where the Bluebird Sings to the Lemonade Springs: Living and Writing in the West (1992). Three short stories have won O.Henry prizes, and in 1980 he received the Robert Kirsch Award from the Los Angeles Times for his lifetime literary achievements.
Named a Best Book of the Year by The Washington Post, NPR, Vanity Fair, LA Times, San Francisco Chronicle, Huffington Post, The Atlantic, Refinery 29, Men's Journal, Ploughshares, Lit Hub, Book Riot, Los Angeles Magazine, Powells, BookPage and Kirkus Reviews The much-anticipated first novel from a Story Prize-winning “5 Under 35” fiction writer. In 2012, Claire Vaye Watkins’s story collection, Battleborn, swept nearly every award for short fiction. Now this young writer, widely heralded as a once-in-a-generation talent, returns with a first novel that harnesses the sweeping vision and deep heart that made her debut so arresting to a love story set in a devastatingly imagined near future: Unrelenting drought has transfigured Southern California into a surreal, phantasmagoric landscape. With the Central Valley barren, underground aquifer drained, and Sierra snowpack entirely depleted, most “Mojavs,” prevented by both armed vigilantes and an indifferent bureaucracy from freely crossing borders to lusher regions, have allowed themselves to be evacuated to internment camps. In Los Angeles’ Laurel Canyon, two young Mojavs—Luz, once a poster child for the Bureau of Conservation and its enemies, and Ray, a veteran of the “forever war” turned surfer—squat in a starlet’s abandoned mansion. Holdouts, they subsist on rationed cola and whatever they can loot, scavenge, and improvise. The couple’s fragile love somehow blooms in this arid place, and for the moment, it seems enough. But when they cross paths with a mysterious child, the thirst for a better future begins. They head east, a route strewn with danger: sinkholes and patrolling authorities, bandits and the brutal, omnipresent sun. Ghosting after them are rumors of a visionary dowser—a diviner for water—and his followers, who whispers say have formed a colony at the edge of a mysterious sea of dunes. Immensely moving, profoundly disquieting, and mind-blowingly original, Watkins’s novel explores the myths we believe about others and tell about ourselves, the double-edged power of our most cherished relationships, and the shape of hope in a precarious future that may be our own. From the Hardcover edition.
Joe Allston, the retired literary agent of Stegner's National Book Award-winning novel, The Spectator Bird, returns in this disquieting and keenly observed novel. Scarred by the senseless death of their son and baffled by the engulfing chaos of the 1960s, Allston and his wife, Ruth, have left the coast for a California retreat. And although their new home looks like Eden, it also has serpents: Jim Peck, a messianic exponent of drugs, yoga, and sex; and Marian Catlin, an attractive young woman whose otherworldly innocence is far more appealing—and far more dangerous.