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Clicking on a book cover will search for the book in the catalog. If it is not part of our collection, you may request it by clicking on the Can't Find It link. An icon indicates if the book is chosen by a panelist as one of the year's best.

Made in the U.S.A.
By Billie Letts. Grand Central Publishing. 355 pp. . $24.99.

It begins in South Dakota, but much of this book is set in Las Vegas, Nevada, as teen and pre-teen Fate and Floy leave their keeper dead or dying on the floor in Wal-Mart and go in search of their father. Letts writes excellent dialog allowing the reader to understand the characters while moving the story along briskly.
Many a River
By Elmer Kelton. Forge. 335 pp. . $24.95.
Kelton proves why he is the dean of Western writers in this tale of adventure and reconciliation set in Civil War west Texas and New Mexico. Two boys, separated when their parents are killed in an Indian attack, follow different paths: one is taken captive by Comanches and eventually swept up in the Confederate invasion of the Southwest; the other is adopted by a Unionist couple who are forced to flee into Mexico. The story of their trials and eventual reunion is steeped in history and highlighted by the frontier experiences that forged boys into men. []

Map of the Lost
By Miriam Sagan. University of New Mexico Press. 136 pp. . $24.95.
Vivid images of the Southwest fill this book of 89 poems. The details evoke cultures and relations, family and dreams, maybe even your own. Sagan ranges widely in her quest to revisit and “map” her memories. Her eye is keen, her words gentle but probing. My favorites include “Biblioteca,” “Clovis,” and “Panhandle.” And perhaps from her lines in “Each Thing Has Its Own Meaning,” we find the central theme of her fine collection: “You stitch onto fabric/A tapestry of survival/Quilting the journey.”


Martín de Léon: Tejano Empresario
By Judy Alter, Patrick Messersmith. State House Press. 71 pp. . $14.95.

Meat: a Love Story
By Susan Bourette. G. P. Putnam's Sons. 274 pp. $24.95.

A “compassionate carnivore” travels far and wide in her quest to debunk myths about the raising, cooking and eating of meat. One leg of her trek takes her on a Texas cattle drive, and it is the only segment of this book with southwestern content.
Mediating Knowledges: Origins of a Zuni Tribal Museum
By Gwyneira Isaac. University of Arizona Press. 207 pp. Index. . $50.00.
Establishing a museum in the pueblo of Zuni was not an easy endeavor. The people didn't want the Anglo concept of a museum, which stored objects and catered to tourists. Instead, they wanted something that met the community's needs and follow Zuni cultural ways. Thus, the concept of an ecomuseum developed -- a museum mainly without walls, indicating that many exhibits and teaching activities would be within the community itself. The A:shiwi A:wan Museum was ultimately established in 1992 with a goal toward integrating all aspects of the comunity such as the natural environment, along with economic and social relationships. []
How can a Native American community balance privacy of religion and families with scholarship and scrutiny by outsiders? That is a tough mission, as the Zuni found out when the nation decided to build a museum and heritage center. This book is the story of that evolving relationship. The author, now an assistant professor at Arizona State University, participated in that long and sometimes painful discussion, but along the way discovered many concepts that may help other cultures bridge trust and understanding. She learned that knowledge brings responsibility. My “passage from student to professor was immensely difficult, not because it was harder … work, but because for the first time I was wholly accountable for the knowledge that I acquired and transmitted.” []

Medicine Bags and Dog Tags: American Indian Veterans from Colonial Times to the Second Iraq War
By . University of Nebraska Press. 287 pp. Index. $45.00.
Here is the story of Native men and women who have participated in wars from colonial times to the second Iraq War. The author suggests that the reasons for enlistment of Native people are varied and complex, but often connected to the relative strength of the warrior tradition within communities. He also shows how Native people have influenced U.S. military tactics, symbolism, and basic training. The story would have been enhanced with illustrations. []

Merde Happens: a Novel
By Stephen Clarke. Bloomsbury USA. $24.99.
Clarke takes a hilarious look at British, French, and American customs as his fictional hero Paul West sets out in a Mini automobile from New York to Los Angeles in a competition to promote Great Britain as a tourist destination. A stopover in Las Vegas, "where anything is possible" (even the Eiffel Tower in the Nevada desert), gives this rollicking yarn its southwesern twist. []

Mexican National Identity: Memory, Innuendo, and Popular Culture
By William H. Beezley. University of Arizona Press. 206 pp. Index. . $24.95.

The author asserts that a Mexican national identity was created during the 19th century by an unrelated mix of ordinary people and everyday events.
Mining Law of 1872, The: Past, Politics and Prospects
By Gordon Morris Bakken. University of New Mexico Press. Index. $45.00.
The federal Mining Law of 1872 has exerted enormous influence on the economy and environment of the West. Gordon Bakken, a mining law historian, explains the law in terms of American mining, mining history, and its effects, especially its unintended consequences. Some of the egregious abuses of the law have affected the Quechan and Hopi, although the book ranges far beyond the Southwest. The book is especially timely as corporations seek to expand operations in the Southwest, for example a proposed copper pit near Tucson. Readers may wish to start with the chapter on modernizing the law (ch. 11), for the next session of Congress may hear proposals to greatly modify or repeal the law. []

By Chris Hannan. Farrar, Straus and Giroux. 304 pp. . $24.00.

Nineteen-year-old Dol McQueen is an intelligent, strong-willed hooker with a weakness for liquid opium, called "Missy". When she comes into possession of a crate of pure opium, Dol's adventures begin as she flees across the arduous wagon trails of the Southwest to stay ahead of the crate's owners.
Moon Lily
By Susan Lang. University of Nevada Press. 249 pp. $21.00.

More Zeal than Discretion: the Westward Adventures of Walter P. Lane
By Jimmy L. Bryan, Jr.. Texas A&M University Press. 250 pp. Index. $35.00.

This biography of Walter Paye Lane follows him through three wars, and traces his involvement in the westward expansion in the 19th century U.S.
Mustang: the Saga of the Wild Horse in the American West
By Deanne Stillman. Houghton Mifflin Co.. 338 pp. . $25.00.
This wonderful volume traces the history of the descendants of the hardy horse of the western plains, which was reintroduced by the Spanish in the 1500s. What a story there is to tell! Each chapter s almost a book i itself and recreates relationships with the American Indian, the United States Army, Buffalo Bill's wild west, and the cowboy and the cattle trade. A chapter is devoted to Comanche, the lone survivor of the Battle of Little Bighorn. Although wounded and scarred, he was petted and cared for and to ease his pain, ed a diet of whiskey and bran mash throughout his life. Hollywood is not forgotten and the fast-paced western introduced man paired with his horse including William Hart and Fritz; Gene Autry and Champion; Roy Rogers and Trigger; and the Lone Ranger and Silver. Finally, the author recounts stories of the massacre of wild horses and the efforts to same them to roam wild and free. Unfortunately, most activity is not in the southwest. []

Mysterium Fidei
By Michael M. Brescia, Daniel Martin Diaz. Last Gasp. 120 pp. $35.00.

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