House of Rain

Tracking a Vanished Civilization Across the American Southwest
By Craig Childs (Trade Paperback, 2008)
In this landmark work on the Anasazi tribes of the Southwest, naturalist Craig Childs dives head on into the mysteries of this vanished people.

The various tribes that made up the Anasazi people converged on Chaco Canyon (New Mexico) during the 11th century to create a civilization hailed as "the Las Vegas of its day," a flourishing cultural center that attracted pilgrims from far and wide, and a vital crossroads of the prehistoric world. By the 13th century, however, Chaco's vibrant community had disappeared without a trace.

Was it drought? Pestilence? War? Forced migration, mass murder or suicide? Conflicting theories have abounded for years, capturing the North American imagination for eons.

Join Craig Childs as he draws on the latest scholarly research, as well as a lifetime of exploration in the forbidden landscapes of the American Southwest, to shed new light on this compelling mystery. He takes us from Chaco Canyon to the highlands of Mesa Verde, to the Mongollon Rim; to a contemporary Zuni community where tribal elders maintain silence about the fate of their Lost Others; and to the largely unexplored foothills of the Sierra Madre in Mexico, where abundant remnants of Anasazi culture lie yet to be uncovered.

In this landmark work on the Anasazi tribes of the Southwest, naturalist Craig Childs dives head on into the mysteries of this vanished people.

The various tribes that made up the Anasazi people converged on Chaco Canyon (New Mexico) during the 11th century to create a civilization hailed as "the Las Vegas of its day," a flourishing cultural center that attracted pilgrims from far and wide, and a vital crossroads of the prehistoric world. By the 13th century, however, Chaco's vibrant community had disappeared without a trace.

Was it drought? Pestilence? War? Forced migration, mass murder or suicide? Conflicting theories have abounded for years, capturing the North American imagination for eons.

Join Craig Childs as he draws on the latest scholarly research, as well as a lifetime of exploration in the forbidden landscapes of the American Southwest, to shed new light on this compelling mystery. He takes us from Chaco Canyon to the highlands of Mesa Verde, to the Mongollon Rim; to a contemporary Zuni community where tribal elders maintain silence about the fate of their Lost Others; and to the largely unexplored foothills of the Sierra Madre in Mexico, where abundant remnants of Anasazi culture lie yet to be uncovered.

Craig Childs -- naturalist, adventurer, desert ecologist, and frequent contributor to National Public Radio's Morning Edition -- lives in Crawford, Colorado. His previous books include The Way Out, The Secret Knowledge of Water and Soul of Nowhere.
  • "A blend of anthropology, geography, and archaeology. . . . Childs's beautifully written travelogue provides a highly original answer to the Anasazi riddle." (Entertainment Weekly).

  • "I only wish I'd had this marvelous book two summers ago whn I made my own dumbstruck pilgrimage to Chaco, Aztec, de Chelly, Mesa Verde, and Monument Valley." (Harper's).

  • "Each chapter begins with an adventure... Childs is a wonderful storyteller, and 'House of Rain' is all the more powerful because it is a personal story--a labor of love written by a modern man who has had an imaginative relationship with the Anasazi and their desert terrain since he was a child." (Albuquerque Journal).

  • "HOUSE OF RAIN is neither a political book nor a tendentious one. It is a book that sets the reader's imagination to work on a problem that has confounded generations of archaeologists." (Los Angeles Times Book Review).

  • "Childs does a phenomenal job of portraying both the theories and their inventors in favorable lights, and the reader catches a glimpse of a hearty outdoor world filled with people obsessed with the puzzle of the past." (Denver Post).

  • "Childs puts his talents to good use here, and leaves the reader wanting more." (Arizona Republic).

  • (Library Journal).

Product Details

House of Rain
  • Publisher: Little, Brown and Company
  • Price: $16.00 US/$18.00 CAN
  • Pages: 512
  • Physical Dimensions: 5-1/2" x 8-1/4"
  • Audio Run Time: 0
  • ISBN-13: 9780316067546
  • On Sale Date: 07/03/2008
House of Rain