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Great River

The Rio Grande in North American History. Vol. 1, Indians and Spain. Vol. 2, Mexico and the United States. 2 vols. in one

Paul. Horgan

Publication Year: 2012

Winner of both the Pulitzer Prize and Bancroft Prize for History, Great River was hailed as a literary masterpiece and enduring classic when it first appeared in 1954. It is an epic history of four civilizations--Native American, Spanish, Mexican, and Anglo-American--that people the Southwest through ten centuries. With the skill of a novelist, the veracity of a scholar, and the love of a long-time resident, Paul Horgan describes the Rio Grande, its role in human history, and the overlapping cultures that have grown up alongside it or entered into conflict over the land it traverses. Now in its fourth revised edition, Great River remains a monumental part of American historical writing.

Published by: Wesleyan University Press

Title Page, Copyright Page

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Prologue: Riverscape

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pp. 3-7

Over warm seas the air is heavy with moisture. Endlessly the vast delicate act of evaporation occurs. The seas yield their essence to the air. Sometimes it is invisible, ascending into the upper atmosphere. Sometimes it makes a shimmer in the calm light that proceeds universally from the sun. The upper heavens carry dust—sea dust of salt...

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Book One: The Indian Rio Grande

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pp. 13-80

THERE WAS NO RECORD BUT MEMORY and it became tradition and then legend and then religion. So long ago that they did not know themselves how long, their ancestors, the ancient people, moved. They went with the weather. Seasons, generations, centuries went by as each brought discovery of places farther toward the morning, across vacant...

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Book Two: The Spanish Rio Grande

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pp. 83-440

As IT CAME TO THE SEA AT THE GULF OF MEXICO the river turned from side to side in looping bends and dragging effort like a great ancient dying snake. The land was white with sea shells and crusty with salty sand. On the low dunes hard tall ranks of grass stood up in thin blades that cut if touched. The sky was low, even in sunlight. Air over...

Appendix A: Sources for Volume One, by chapters

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pp. 443-447

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Book Three: The Mexican Rio Grande

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pp. 453-612

THE DISTANCE WAS GREAT—twelve hundred miles—and overland travel from the middle Gulf Coast of Texas to the Mexican capital was toilsome and dangerous. The roads were appalling. Robbers abounded along the way. As the southbound traveller drew closer to the Rio Grande two dangers became intensified. One was the lack...

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Book Four: The United States Rio Grande

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pp. 617-945

"GOOD-BYE. COME BACK A MAN," said an Indiana father to his son, a volunteer for the Rio Grande in 1846. The young man "gave him a shower of tears" and left for the war. It was the nation asking for fulfillment of the first significant task of its early maturity. The national policy on the river was at the start in the hands of the regular...

Appendix B: Sources for Volume Two, by chapters

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pp. 949-953

Appendix C: General Bibliography

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pp. 957-977

Appendix D: The Names of the Rio Grande

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pp. 981


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pp. 985-1020

E-ISBN-13: 9780819573605
Print-ISBN-13: 9780819562517

Page Count: 1038
Publication Year: 2012