Vision in the Desert: Carl Hayden and Hydropolitics in the American Southwest

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Texas Christian University Press, 1999 - Biography & Autobiography - 290 pages
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Set in both the arid lands of Arizona and the political backdrop of Washington, D.C., Vision in the Desert documents the life and career of longtime senator Carl Hayden. One of the most powerful figures in the United States Congress, Hayden centered his public service career around water and its distribution, and his achievements are inseparable from the history of the West and the development of arid lands.

Carl Hayden became acquainted with reclamation and irrigation issues at an early age through his work with his father in the Salt River Valley. Elected to the House of Representatives in 1911, Hayden began a fifty-seven-year stint in the U.S. Congress, serving as a Democratic representative in the House for fifteen years and then in the Senate from 1927 until 1969. Issues of the development of the Colorado River occupied the majority of his congressional work. The 1968 authorization of the Central Arizona Project (CAP) highlights Hayden's efforts for this lifestream of the Southwest. Combining Hayden's childhood hopes and congressional endeavors, the CAP secured future economic and population growth by making possible the distribution of water to the growing urban and suburban areas of Phoenix and Tucson.

Vision in the Desert binds the works of this western lawmaker to the expansion of the American Southwest and chronicles the politics in the region. Jack August, Jr., takes the reader on a comprehensive journey of the politician's career -- through visions of the nineteenth century, the accomplishments of the twentieth century, and the probable implications for the approaching millennium.

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A Man of Sterling Character
Origins of the Colorado River Controversy in the Southwest

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About the author (1999)

Jack L. August Jr. is executive director at the Arizona Historical Foundation at Arizona State University, where he teaches graduate courses in water policy and management. He is a former Fulbright scholar and National Endowment for the Humanities Research fellow. Dr. August has written books and articles on twentieth-century western political and environmental history, including Vision in the Desert: Carl Hayden and Hydropolitics in the American Southwest (TCU Press, 1999) and Senator Dennis Deconcini: From the Center of the Aisle (University of Arizona Press, 2006).

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