Great River: The Rio Grand in North American History

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Wesleyan University Press, Jun 1, 2014 - History - 356 pages
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The Pulitzer Prize– and Bancroft Prize–winning epic history of the American Southwest from the acclaimed twentieth-century author of Lamy of Santa Fe.

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.

“Here is known and unknown history, emotion and color, sense and sensitivity, battles for land and the soul of man, cultures and moods, fused by a glowing pen and a scholarly mind into a cohesive and memorable whole.” —The Boston Sunday Herald

“Transcends regional history and soars far above the river valley with which it deals . . . a survey, rich in color and fascinating in pictorial detail, of four civilizations: the aboriginal Indian, the Spanish, the Mexican, and the Anglo-American . . . It is, in the best sense of the word, literature. It has architectural plan, scholarly accuracy, stylistic distinction, and not infrequently real nobility of spirit.” —Allan Nevins, author of Ordeal of the Union

“One of the major masterpieces of American historical writing.” —Carl Carmer, author of Stars Fell on Alabama

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About the author (2014)

PAUL HORGAN, novelist, historian, biographer, was one of this century’s most gifted American authors. He trice won the Pulitzer Prize for History in a literary career spanning six decades. Born in Buffalo, New York, in 1903, he moved with his family in 1915 to Albuquerque, New Mexico. He was Professor Emeritus and Author-in-Residence at Wesleyan University until his death in 1995.