House of Rain: Tracking a Vanished Civilization Across the American Southwest, by Craig Childs. The greatest "unsolved mystery" of the American Southwest relates to the Anasazi, the native peoples who by the 11th century converged on Chaco Canyon (now New Mexico) and built a flourishing cultural center that attracted pilgrims from far and wide, a vital crossroads of the prehistoric world. The Anasazis' accomplishments--in agriculture, in art, in commerce, in architecture and engineering--were astounding, rivaling those of the Mayans in distant Central America. By the 13th century, however, the Anasazi were gone from Chaco. Vanished. What was it--drought? pestilence? war? forced migration? mass murder or suicide? Craig Childs draws on scholarly research and a lifetime of adventure and exploration in the American Southwest to pursue the mystery of their disappearance. Considering many possibilities, he points the way to a new understanding of how a vibrant civilization collapsed.