Rivers in the Desert: William Mulholland and the Inventing of Los Angeles (Paperback)

Before placing an order, please note:

  • You'll receive a confirmation email once your order is complete and ready for pickup. 
  • If you have a membership, please make a note of this in the order comments and we'll apply your discount.
  • If you place a pre-order in the same order as currently available titles, an additional shipping fee will be added to your order. 
  • Women & Children First is not responsible for lost or stolen packages.
Rivers in the Desert: William Mulholland and the Inventing of Los Angeles By Margaret Leslie Davis Cover Image


The rise and fall of William Mulholland, and the story of L.A.'s disastrous dam collapse: "A dramatic saga of ambition, politics, money and betrayal" (Los Angeles Daily News).

Rivers in the Desert follows the remarkable career of William Mulholland, the visionary who engineered the rise of Los Angeles as the greatest American city west of the Mississippi. He sought to transform the sparse and barren desert into an inhabitable environment by designing the longest aqueduct in the Western Hemisphere, bringing water from the mountains to support a large city.

This "fascinating history" chronicles Mulholland's dramatic ascension to wealth and fame--followed by his tragic downfall after the sudden collapse of the dam he had constructed to safeguard the water supply (Newsweek). The disaster, which killed at least five hundred people, caused his repudiation by allies, friends, and a previously adoring community. Epic in scope, Rivers in the Desert chronicles the history of Los Angeles and examines the tragic fate of the man who rescued it.

"An arresting biography of William Mulholland, the visionary Los Angeles Water Department engineer . . . his] personal and public dramas make for gripping reading." --Publishers Weekly

"A fascinating look at the political maneuvering and engineering marvels that moved the City of Angels into the first rank of American cities." --Booklist

About the Author

Margaret Leslie Davis is the author of Spur Award winner Rivers in the Desert (1993), Los Angeles Times bestseller Dark Side of Fortune (1998), and most recently, The Lost Gutenberg (2019). She is also a lawyer and a graduate of Georgetown University. Davis lives in Los Angeles, California.
Product Details
ISBN: 9781497638785
ISBN-10: 149763878X
Publisher: Open Road Media
Publication Date: August 19th, 2014
Pages: 268
Language: English