Rio: A Photographic Journey down the Old Rio Grande
by Melissa Savage
$28.95, University of New Mexico Press
Weaving together landscape and memory, this book presents historical photographs of the Rio Grande of the American Southwest. The dynamic Rio Grande has run through all the valley s diverse cultures: Puebloan, Spanish, Mexican, and Anglo. Photography arrived in the region at the beginning of the river s great transformation by trade, industry, and cultivation. In Rio Savage has collected images that document the sweeping history of that transformation from those of nineteenth-century expeditionary photographer W. H. Jackson to the work of the great twentieth-century chronicler of the river, Laura Gilpin. The photographs are assembled in thematic bundles river crossings, cultivation, trade, floods, the Mexican insurrection, the Big Bend region, and the estuary where the river at last meets the Gulf of Mexico. Essays by Rina Swentzell, G. Emlen Hall, Juan Estevan Arellano, Estella Leopold, Norma Elia Cantu, Jan Reid, and Dan Flores illuminate the images.