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100 Years ~ 100 Quilts: Arizona Centennial Quilt Project
By Helen Young Frost, ed, Carolyn O'Bagy Davis, ed. Arizona Historical Society. 128 pp. $39.95.
This book is a perfect celebration, in brilliant color photographs, of the 100 Arizona quilts displayed in a special exhibition marking the state’s centennial at the Arizona Historical Society in Tucson. The quilts are accompanied by brief statements from the quilters, usually a personal account of their reasons for quilting or an explanation of the meaning of their designs. Quilt themes range from cowgirls and cowboys to desert canyons and from the “Dove of the Desert” to Hopi kachinas. []
I was astounded when I first saw the Arizona Centennial Quilt Exhibit at the Historical Society in Tucson. The colors, designs, creativity, and detail were overwhelming. There hung the Grand Canyon made of cloth, desert vistas, ranch scenes, maps, patchworks of historical people, and a crossword puzzle. It was frameable art, far beyond mere blankets for a bed. This book is a collectable catalogue of that wonderful colorful exhibit. If you miss the exhibit, you must read the book. []

285 Broken Dreams: Photographing Southeast New Mexico to Texas
By Chris Enos. Museum of New Mexico Press. 104 pp. $34.95.
Chris Enos drove along Highway 285 as it angled southeast from Santa Fe passing Roswell and Carlsbad, New Mexico ending at Fort Stockton. Along the way he found and photographed some 285 abandoned houses, churches, warehouses, hotels, strip malls, factories, and businesses with deteriorating signs. The ebb and flow of economic and environmental issues have left many small towns on the highway struggling for survival. The curious reader is left to ponder the history and fates of those who may have failed and moved on. []
Enos recently took these 285 colored photographs of abandoned homes and businesses, many with fading signs, along Route 285 between Santa Fe and Ft. Stockton. Fleming’s short essay covers the economic roller coaster that is the probable cause of these sad sights. These stunning photographs reveal the varieties of types of structures, most small and serviceable, a few grandiose, some older and some relatively recent. Fleming indicates that a few places like Roswell, Artesia, Carlsbad, and Ft. Stockton are surviving, unlike the smaller towns. This poignant little compendium is artistically arranged and thought-provoking. []

48 Women: Arizona's Most Intriguing Women
By Arizona Historical Society . Arizona Historical Society. $55.00.
A committee chaired by Connie Robinson picked these women (actually more than 48 because one “pick” is a group (Phoenix’s 120 year-old Sisters of Mercy). Each of them gets a full-page, large-format color photo and a page of text. I note that these are living women and while some have substantial public personae (Rose Mofford, Janet Napolitano and Sandra Day O’Connor, for example), others are recognized for a life and work largely out of the public eye. In the “olden days” we librarians called this kind of effort a “mug book” because the typical content was rich, powerful and politically important men, whose mugs were well known. There is some of that here too, I suppose, but these women have mostly worked hard to earn it, not bought it. []

Agaves: Living Sculptures for Landscapes and Containers
By Greg Starr. Timber Press. 342 pp. Index. $39.95.
All you ever wanted to know about agaves is included in this magnificent book with elegant colored illustrations. Over 80 species are detailed with temperature and moisture ranges. Although the focus is on the Southwest, agaves can do well in other climates. An index to specific types, a glossary, and a listing of agaves by size are all useful. This is a book that generalists and specialists can savor. []

Alexander O. Brodie: Frontiersman, Rough Rider, Governor
By , Charles H. Herner. Texas Christian Univeristy Press. 267 pp. Index. $29.95.
In this thoroughly researched and crisply written biography, Herner chronicles Brodie's long climb from army officer and civil engineer to fame in the Spanish American War (the idea for a regiment of cowboy cavalry was his), friendship with Theodore Roosevelt, and the governorship of Arizona Territory. Along the way, Herner advances strong arguments for Brodie's important role in Progressive politics and his singular contributions to the development of Arizona and the nation. This is a welcome, and long overdue, appraisal of an underappreciated figure in southwestern history. []

Apache Tactics 1830-86
By Robert N. Watt. Osprey Publishing Ltd.. 64 pp. Index. $18.95.
Covering the five-and-a-half decades just prior to the surrender and deportation to Florida of both Geronimo and Mangas Coloradas Watt looks in detail at some of the Apache tactics of warfare. A number of excellent maps as well as fine modern color photographs help the reader understand the terrain and the movement of both Apache warriors and U.S. troops. []

Arizona Recollections and Reflections: An Arizona Centennial Historymakers Commemoration
By Zona Davis Lorig, Ruth McLeod, Joan Robinson-Blumit. Historical league, Inc. of the Arizona Historical Society Museum. 303 pp. $40.00.
Hundreds of good-to-excellent b/w photos supplement extremely brief texts that provide the highlights of the lives of nearly 60 Arizonans selected as “historymakers” in the years 1992-2008. Most of the subjects are still living which qualifies this as a “mug book” in the old-fashioned sense. Selections seem to lean toward choices from the Phoenix area, with many notable omissions state-wide. []
This tribute to Arizona’s centennial features more than fifty mover and shakers who made state history. It includes Barry Goldwater, Bruce Babbitt, Roy Drachman, Eddie Basha, Ester Don Tang, Alberto Rios, and Joe Garagiola. The format devotes 2 to 4 pages to each person, including a tribute and family photos. []

Arizona: 100 Years Grand
By Lisa Schnebly Heidinger. Arizona Historical Advisory Commission. 241 pp. Index. . $24.95.
Lisa Schnebly Heidinger writes as well about Arizona as anyone, and this volume showcases her life-long familiarity with all corners of the state. In what at first appears an eclectic mix of articles featuring a centennial year, she draws on far-flung places, people, and events to spin a fascinating story about what makes Arizona Arizona. There’s something here for everyone. Lavishly illustrated and brimming with information and fun, the book ably achieves her goal of letting the reader “experience” the state. She is a fitting ambassador. []
One hundred photographs grace each page accompanied by a well-written descriptive history of people and places that we think of in talking about Arizona. Of course, it includes the five Cs: Copper, Cotton, Citrus, Climate, and Cattle. This is a book to give to every newcomer and visitor to our state. Well done.
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Arizona: A History
By Thomas E. Sheridan. University of Arizona Press. 484 pp. Index. $50.00.
Top Pick
Bill Broyles almost said it all but I will add that Sheridan turned over multiple stones and burrowed under many more to produce a “must read” for anyone interested in the future of Arizona. []
It is rare that a revised edition can also be a best book pick, but Sheridan’s effort has made his superb first effort into a “must-read” for anyone interested in the history of our state. []

Arizona: A Photographic Tribute
By John Annerino. Globe Pequot Press. 115 pp. $17.95.
With breathtaking photographs and classic quotations from famous authors and artists who appreciated the state, photographer John Annerino celebrates the Arizona’s centennial. My favorite of favorites is his sunrise image of Monument Valley accompanied by actor John Wayne’s quote “So this is where God put the West.” The book is a nice gift for newcomers or guests, but I have a copy next to my reading chair. []

Bats of Texas
By Loren K. Ammerman, Christine L. Hice, David J. Schmidly. Texas A&M University Press. 305 pp. Index. $35.00.
Bats are fascinating, and even though this book focuses on Texas, it is a wealth of information about Southwest bats in general. Another outstanding edition of the Texas A&M Nature Guides, it covers the latest studies, startling facts, details about bats’ lives, classification keys and the latest nomenclature. Exquisite photos portray each of the 33 species discussed, from nectar eaters to vampires, and maps show their known ranges. A standard reference for years to come. []
Though the book is about bat populations in Texas, some 33 species mapped in all areas of the state, it is useful for general study. In addition to being well organized and illustrated the authors discusses every detail of the bat's history from evolution to the current time when there is a good deal of concern about the effect of climate change on the species. Thousands of sketches, photographs and statistical lists add to the book's interest and usefulness. []

Book on the Making of Lonesome Dove, A
By John Spong. University of Texas Press. 168 pp. $50.00.
Interviews with 40 people, including author Larry McMurtry, tie together dozens of large-format photos and other illustrations. This is a spectacular addition to the literature concerning the Pulitzer Prize-winning novel and the amazing TV mini-series it spawned. []

Boom, Bust, Boom: A Story about Copper, the Metal that Runs the World
By Bill Carter. Scribner. 288 pp. Index. $26.00.
Top Pick
Bisbee, AZ, once a copper boomtown, has been quiet (except for tourists) these past 30+ years. Between books (this is his third), journalist and former Bisbee resident Carter decided to plant a garden with his daughter, and nearly died from eating his own vegetables! Arsenic used in copper mining was the culprit, and the experience set him off on a research project to understand the copper industry. An excellent writer, Carter lets us understand both the history of copper extraction and the industry’s worldwide implications. []

Celebrate Arizona!
By Joan Sandin. Rio Chico. 32 pp. $15.95.
A bright, colorful children's picture book about the day Arizona became the 48th state. The story is told in rhyming verse highlighting Governor Hunt getting the news, cannons & dynamite going off, sirens, whistles, bands playing and flags now displaying 48 stars.
The last two pages feature facts about Arizona's historic journey to become a state and some facts about the president, the governor and the design of the state flag. []

Chasing Cattle and the Cure: Oral Histories from Yavapai County, Arizona
By Mona McCroskey. HollyBear Press. 376 pp. Index. $40.00.
In revealing interviews compiled over the past two decades, 100 men and women describe life and work in and around Prescott in the early and middle years of the 20th century. Individually, they relate commonplace stories of families rooted in place and engaged in business and social activities that enrich lives and forge the bonds of community. Taken together, these engaging vignettes paint a vivid portrait of town and country. Hundreds of family photographs add intimacy to this loving scrapbook of Yavapai County history. []
If you enjoy visiting with old-timers like I do, you’ll love this book. Pull up a chair and listen as they tell about their childhoods, families, neighbors, careers, joys and sorrows while living in the Prescott area. Some were ranchers, others businessmen or deputies, teachers, and homemakers. You’d be proud to have any of them as your neighbor. McCroskey has done a sterling job of organizing the interviews and family-album photos into a heartwarming story. Winnowed from the best of more than 300 interviews that the author conducted while at the Sharlot Hall Museum, this is a wonderful local history of ordinary people, which to me is the most interesting. []

Chiricahua and Janos: Communities of Violence in the Southwestern Borderlands, 1680-1880
By Lance R. Blyth. University of Nebraska Press. 277 pp. Index. $60.00.
Recent borderlands scholarship provides the framework for Blyth's case study of two centuries of interaction between Chiricahua Apaches and Mexicans around the frontier community of Janos in northwestern Chihuahua. Based on microfilmed archival research and broad reading in the historical literature, Blyth makes a strong argument for the adaptive cultural, diplomatic, and political uses of violence in regions remote from central government. A final chapter draws intriguing links to today's drug wars. []
Blyth makes a case for the inevitability of violence in borderland areas where two cultures are totally different and neither culture is dominant by detailing skirmishes, massacres, and raids between the Apaches (Chiricahua) and Spanish and Mexicans (Janos). He further argues this violence has the positive result of providing peaceful periods in between. Interestingly, he draws parallels between this earlier period of violence and today’s drug wars. While his thesis is thought-provoking, this peace lover hopes there are more productive solutions to border problems in the future. []

Climate and Culture Change in North America AD 900 to 1600
By William C. Foster. University of Texas Press. 240 pp. Index. $24.95.
Climate changes over the past seven centuries have greatly affected where and how people lived in North America as crops grew or failed, cities were built or abandoned, and populations thrived or crashed. Drawing heavily from the archaeological record that includes Southwest sites at Chaco Canyon, Snaketown, Paquimé, and Pecos Pueblo, William Foster argues that the only permanence is change and that warmer times were beneficial for past civilizations. []

Code Talker
By Judith Schiess Avila, Chester Nez. Berkley Publishing Group. 310 pp. Index. $26.95.
There were eventually more than 400 Navajo code talkers active in World War II. Nez, however, was one of the original 29 and the only one whose story has been told completely in book form. Based on 75 hours of interviews, Avila’s lively editing job lets the reader feel both Nez’s traditional Navajo boyhood and his transition to manhood as well as the place in history where he and his comrades belong. []

Common Humanity, A: Ritual, Religion, and Immigrant Advocacy in Tucson, Arizona
By Lane Van Ham. University of Arizona Press. 218 pp. Index. $25.00.
The author received his PhD from the University of Arizona and with its academic language and narrow but original focus this appears to be a revision of his dissertation. Van Ham has researched immigrant advocacy organizations in Tucson (primarily Humane Borders, Derechos Humanos, and Samaritans) and concluded that members, whether grounded in religion or secularism, share beliefs that human rights trump man-made laws and that globalism trumps nationalism. This is not to say that members are not loyal abiding Americans, but that laws are not infallible. This is a challenging and thought-provoking presentation with wider than local implications. []

Continental Divide: Wildlife, People, and the Border Wall
By Krista Schlyer. Texas A&M University Press. 292 pp. Index. $30.00.
Top Pick
Note the subtitle! This continental divide does not run down the spine of the Rockies. Schlyer’s account describes the problems created by the border fence and its impact on the desert, the grasslands and, most telling, the people, and doesn’t overlook its effect on the Rio Grande. Her photos, in excellent color, look closely at the non-human creatures in the divided landscape in which we now live in. Her final chapter, titled “Appalachian Rain,” may seem like a long stretch at first, but it is a reminder that any water, no matter where it “starts,” is connected to all water! []

Conversations Across our America: Talking about Immigration and the Latinoization of the United States
By Louis G. Mendoza. University of Texas Press. 299 pp. Index. $55.00.

Brief portions of sometimes extended conversations with more than 30 Latinos all over the US, including several stops in Arizona, New Mexico and Texas.
Crazy Brave: A Memoir
By Joy Harjo. W.W. Norton. 169 pp. . $24.95.
In this slender memoir, poet Harjo describes an Oklahoma childhood marred by poverty and abuse, her rebellious years at a Santa Fe Indian school during the 1960s and her search for identity as a single mother enrolled at the University of New Mexico. And, always, there are the words. Harjo’s exquisite prose shows, as much as tells, us how poetry unlocks the door to feeling and charts a clear path to understanding. This is a must read for everyone who appreciates the healing power of literature. []
Creek poet Joy Harjo writes about abuse as a child, problems with alcohol and friendships and life as a single mom. She attended Santa Fe Indian School and later the University of New Mexico. In a sense, she had been trapped by two cultures and her art, poetry, and music helped her climb out of the abyss.
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Dale Morgan on the Mormons: Collected Works
By Dale L. Morgan. Arthur H. Clark Company. 530 pp. Index. $45.00.

This collection of work by historian Dale L. Morgan (1914-1871) comprises volume 14 in "Kingdom in the West: The Mormons and the American Frontier," a reference work on the history of the West.
Dance All Night: Those Other Southwestern Swing Bands, Past and Present
By Jean A. Boyd. Texas Tech University Press. 361 pp. Index. $65.00.
Boyd notes that when Western Swing is referred to the usual suspects are names like Bob Wills or, farther west, Spade Cooley. Here she reminds us of those groups that filled dance floors and radio airwaves in the middle of the 20th century, especially in Texas. In addition to profiles of more than 40 groups she provides nearly 100 musical transcriptions and about 30 pictures. And she says Western Swing is making a comeback! []
Country swing dances were a primary Southwestern entertainment for decades in the past century and the music itself continues to evolve and captivate legions of listeners. Author Jean Boyd mixes the arcane facts of who played what songs for which bands with an infectious enthusiasm for the music itself. If you ever wondered who was the better band leader, Bob Wills or his brother Johnnie Lee Wills, or which musicians most influenced Hot Club of Cowtown, "Dance All Night" will set your mind to dancing. The artists range from Hank Thompson and the Brazos Valley Boys to Asleep at the Wheel. []

Dealing Death and Drugs: The Big Business of Dope in the U.S. and Mexico
By Susie Byrd, Beto O'Rourke. Cinco Puntos Press. 119 pp. $12.95.
The authors, both long-time residents of El Paso, begin with an overview of the death toll in Juarez in recent years, much of it attributed to control and sale of illegal drugs. The middle six chapters of the book deal with the economics and have such titles as “Profit,” “Market Forces,” “Supply,” and “Market Share.” Their argument concludes with a comparison of the demand for and marketing of alcohol followed by a discussion of the problems and benefits that legalization would bring. An interesting approach to a national/international problem. []

Descanso for My Father: Fragments of a Life
By , Harrison Candelaria Fletcher. University of Nebraska Press. 147 pp. $14.95.
Fletcher’s father died when he was too young to remember the man. Over the years of his growing up in New Mexico he created for himself an image of the man and here he speaks to that man, and to himself and his own children. The “fragments” are beautifully written short pieces, some no longer than a sentence, others a page or two. In total they remind us poetically, and lovingly, of the human condition. []

Desert America: Boom and Bust in the New Old West
By Ruben Martinez. Metropolitan Books. 333 pp. $28.00.
Top Pick
In a book that is part memoir and part social inquiry, Martínez describes his odyssey across the landscape of the modern Southwest from the Mojave Desert to northern New Mexico, southern Arizona, and the Big Bend of West Texas. Recalling the John Ford westerns of his childhood as he searches for his own form of healing, Martínez discovers behind the flickering celluloid images the gritty real world of competing hopes and dreams, where money and power race along the fault lines of class and ethnicity. “The desert . . . ,” he concludes, “is not the Big Empty, not the ‘spiritual’ place of gilded clouds, not the cowboys and cacti in silhouette, the desert of the Western or the Travel section.” In reality, “…it is crammed with history. An emptiness filled to bursting with stories in search of voices, ghosts in search of bodies.” In Martínez’s telling, these stories are all the more powerful for having been experienced firsthand.

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Desert Reckoning: A Town Sheriff, a Mojave Hermit, and the Biggest Manhunt in Modern California History
By Deanne Stillman. Nation Books. Index. $26.00.
Top Pick
Nearly a decade ago a week-long manhunt by hundreds of police personnel in the Mojave Desert led to the death of desert-rat, loner and civilization-hater Donald Kueck. He had murdered a local sheriff’s deputy and then gone on the run and into hiding. Stillman’s research and presentation are simply superb. She presents a broad point of view and allows all the major players in the drama to speak for themselves. When we finish reading we may think either “tragedy” or “just-desserts”, but we won’t doubt that we understand who, why, when, where and how. []
In this expansion of her award-winning Rolling Stone article, veteran crime-writer Stillman examines the 2003 murder of a sheriff’s deputy by a recluse in the Mojave Desert north of Los Angeles. Through skillful use of sparse sources and a deep understanding of the history and culture of Southern California, Stillman paints a vivid picture of lives drifting out of control and the desert’s mesmerizing attraction for loners and misfits. Written in luminous prose, this spellbinding book provides a compelling and terrifying look into the violent margins of modern society. []

Desert Terroir: Exploring the Unique Flavors and Sundry Places of the Borderlands
By Gary Nabhan. University of Texas Press. 132 pp. $24.95.
Nabhan espouses sustainable harvesting and consumption of locally grown organic foods. He likens the Southwest Borderlands to the Middle Eastern terrain of his forebears and believes that being tough and hardy as desert plants must be improves the taste and quality of food. He is planting his Patagonia property with Mediterranean species because he anticipates future warming and drought. Nabhan writes smoothly, reverently and convincingly, reminding us of Mother Nature’s gifts. []
Nabhan escorts readers on a culinary tour of the southwestern borderlands, introducing us to the plants and animals that create the distinctive taste (terroir) of desert regions from the Middle East to Baja California. Part history lesson and part cultural geography, this sprightly book links East and West through centuries of botanical borrowings and gastronomic importation. To know a region and its people, Nabhan reminds us, you must eat the products of its soils and rivers. Whether he's describing a rafting trip down the Rio Grande, sampling camel jerky, or savoring mesquite tortillas, Nabhan's passion is infectuous. We turn away with a refreshed palate and a deeper appreciation (though perhaps not so deep as Nabhan's) of eating as an act of communion with the world around us. []

Desert Trader: The Life and Quilts of Goldie Tracy Richmond
By Carolyn O'Bagy Davis. Sanpete Publications. 119 pp. .
Born in Kansas in 1896, Goldie Tracy Richmond learned how to shoot rabbits for the soup pot at an early age and once killed a bobcat bare-handed. She worked hard to survive, walked miles for water daily, frequently lived in little more than a shack, buried one husband and nursed a second. Larger than life (she weighed well over 300 pounds) the legendary Richmond ran a trading post on the Tohono O’odham reservation for more than 40 years, where she made countless friends. She’s remembered best, however, for her beautiful, hand appliqued quilts depicting scenes of the Sonoran Desert, each one now a collector’s item; many of them illustrate this remarkable book. []
From 1932 to 1966 Aunt Goldie, as she was known to many, ran a roadside trading post between Tucson and Ajo. She lived a modest frontier life in the desert where she had to haul water, but she made beautiful quilts that now hang in museums. She could kill a wildcat with her bare hands but she gently healed the sick and fed the poor. She was a legend to travelers and a hero to friends. This amazing book richly tells the story of an ordinary person who did extraordinary things. She’s one who I really wish I had known, and this book let’s me feel that I did. []

Eating the Landscape: American Indian Stories of Food, Identity, and Resilience
By Enrique Salamon. University of Arizona Press. 170 pp. Index. $17.95.
Interviews with a number of southwestern farmers living in multiple environments demonstrate how the physical world affects culture. For example, the Hopi struggled to grow their corn in an arid landscape. “If the Hopi had irrigation,” a farmer said, “we would no longer need the kachinas.” Since Kachinas are rain spirits, ceremonies to encourage rain become an important part of the culture. The illustrations are well chosen, but it would have been nice to have a map outlining the different environments that support the cultures discussed. []

Edward Hunter Snow: Pioneer-Educator-Statesman
By Thomas G. Alexander. Arthur H. Clark Company. 392 pp. Index. $34.95.

A biography of Edward Hunter Snow, second generation leader in Mormon Utah by a noted western and Mormon historian.
Eight Valleys: A Linked Landscape
By Robert Sharpe. Nighthorses. 108 pp. .

Conservation and ranching in southeastern Arizona are the basis of this book, giving a fresh look at the future of rural lands and lifestyles. The author portrays the face of a beautiful landscape he knows first-hand.
El Narco: Inside Mexico's Criminal Insurgency
By Ioan Grillo. Bloomsbury Press. 321 pp. Index. $27.00.
Top Pick
The author, an English reporter, has lived in Mexico researching the drug trade since 2001. He examines the history of narcotics, the politics and the players, all of which come unforgettably alive in this detailed analysis of the current bloodbath in Mexico, where the drug lords seem to be trumping government intervention. Clearly and logically written, this book enables the reader to understand the unfathomable and realize the urgency and enormity of problems that go beyond Mexico and beyond the United States. []

Essential West, The: Collected Essays
By Elliott West. University of Oklahoma Press. 336 pp. Index. $29.95.
This collection of 14 essays, most published previously with a few new ones, is divided into three major themes: conquest, families, and myths. Whether about the importance of race in the west, children’s games on the frontier, an analysis of McMurtry’s Lonesome Dove, or a comparison of Lewis and Clark’s expedition with Mungo Park’s exploration into the interior of west Africa, all the pieces are clearly presented, original and thought-provoking. The West seems to be broadly defined as west of the Mississippi. []

Estampas de la Raza: Contemporary Prints from the Romo Collection
By Lyle W. Williams. University of Texas Press. 180 pp. $39.92.
Top Pick
The McNay Art Museum in San Antonio has hung a magnificent display of Chicano art, mostly posters, and many of them already famously recognizable. This book, a catalogue for the exhibit, presents splendid reproductions of the original lithographs and screen prints, and provides illuminating discussions of the Romo collection, cultural borders, struggles, themes and icons by curator Lyle W. Williams and others. Most memorable for me are the posters ‘Yo Soy-ee Blaxican,’ ‘Tan lejos de Díos, tan cerca de los Estados Unidos,’ ‘Human Denial,’ and ‘John.’ The text is in English and includes short bios of the artists. []

Forty-Seventh Star: New Mexico's Struggle for Statehood
By David Holtby. University of Oklahoma Press. 362 pp. Index. $29.92.
Top Pick
New Mexico’s sixty-four year attempt to become a state is the subject of this well-researched and lively book. Included in the narrative are accounts of how various senators, particularly Albert J. Beveridge (Indiana) and Nelson W. Aldrich (Rhode Island), fought hard to keep the status quo, truly believing that New Mexico’s ethnic and native populations were not quite ready for the responsibilities of statehood. It was also felt that the New Mexico landscape was too “different” and sparsely populated to merit statehood. Despite resistance, New Mexico finally become the 47th state, on January 6, 1912, a little more than a month before Arizona, which had been denied statehood for many of the same reasons. []

Gabby: A Story of Courage and Hope
By Gabrielle Giffords, Mark Kelly, Jeffrey Zaslow. Scribner. 309 pp. $26.99.
This intimate portrait of the lives of both Kelly and Gabby before and after the tragic shootings of January 8, 2011 delivers what the subtitle suggests. No matter what one’s politics, after reading this it would be hard not to admire Gabby for her energy, courage, and determination. It also provides interesting glimpses into the life of an astronaut as well as the strength of Gabby’s mother, Gloria. This is a good one. []

Gardener's Guide to Cactus, The: The 100 Best Paddles, Barrels, Columns, and Globes
By Scott Calhoun. Timber Press. 227 pp. Index. $24.95.
Whether your wish is to plant a cactus garden or to better understand the prized specimens you already have, Scott Calhoun can help. The photos in this fine book are splendid and the text tells how to identify and cultivate cacti, and how to enjoy those that produce edible fruits or stems. The section on pots and potting soils is especially helpful. It’s a fun, fascinating book for beginners and cactophiles alike. []

Georgia O'Keeffe and Her Houses: Ghost Ranch and Abiquiu
By Agapita Judy Lopez, Barbara Buhler Lynes. Abrams. 256 pp. Index. $50.00.

This large-format book has more than 200 mostly-color illustrations divided about equally between O'Keeffe's two houses, and many (mostly black-and-white) photos of the artist herself. Readers with an interest in O’Keeffe will be delighted with the breadth and detail of this volume.
Georgia O'Keeffe in New Mexico: Architecture, Katsinam, and the Land
By Carolyn Kastner, Barbara Buhler Lynes. Museum of New Mexico Press. 144 pp. Index. $34.95.
The small book was created to accompany an exhibit of some fifty-three works mainly featuring Hopi and Zuni Katsinas, landscape, and some additional works. O’Keeffe wrote that her “pictures are a statement of personal experience.”
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As usual with Museum of New Mexico Press publications the illustrations (about 75 of them, all in color) are excellent. The texts (four separate essays), however, are a mixture. Some are highly technical analyses aimed, presumably, at an expert audience. Others, such as Hopi artist Alph Secakuku’s explanation of the Hopi ceremonial cycle, are intended to explain how O’Keeffe’s paintings reflect her interest in that aspect of culture. []

Geronimo
By Robert Marshall Utley. Yale University Press. 376 pp. Index. $30.00.
Top Pick
In the first serious study of the iconic Apache warrior since Angie Debo’s 1976 biography, the preeminent military historian of the American West draws on new sources and offers fresh interpretations to create a fast-paced narrative of Anglo-native warfare in the Southwest and provide a balanced assessment of a figure long shrouded in myth. The Geronimo who emerges from these pages is neither savage nor saint, but a flawed human being of immense personal magnetism who has come to symbolize resistance in the face of overwhelming odds. Utley’s authoritative biography will set the standard of scholarship and readability for at least the next half-century. []

Gold-Mining Boomtown: People of White Oaks, Lincoln County, New Mexico Territory
By Roberta Key Haldane. Arthur H. Clarke Company. 331 pp. Index. $45.00.
When I think of Lincoln County, New Mexico I think of Billy the Kid and the Lincoln County range war, but it was much more. Rich lodes and verdant grasslands drew a fascinating array of people, and in this deeply researched book author Haldane brings them back to life in smoothly written chapter-long biographies. The cast includes martinet sea captain who allows no laughter at the dinner table but is married to a Samoan princess, a Black carpenter who is the strongest but gentlest man in town, a mysterious lady who becomes a cattle baroness, and host of other “real” people. The book is a fascinating and fun look at a frontier community. Excellent historical photos and facsimile documents enrich the sense of being there. []

Grandpa Lolo's Navajo Saddle Blanket / La Tilma de Abuelito Lolo
By Nasario Garcia. University of New Mexico Press. 61 pp. $19.95.
This story is told by Junie Lopez, Grandpa Lolo's grandson. Grandpa Lolo is friends with Manuel Yazzie a Navajo native American horse trader.
The story evolves into a touching narrative of Lolo and Manuel's friendship over the years as they exchange a horse, a saddle blanket and some baby goats.
The book is illustrated with good clear photographs of the southwest. Probably best for upper elementary readers. []

Great Aridness, A: Climate Change and the Future of the American Southwest
By William deBuys. Oxford University Press. 369 pp. Index. $27.95.
Top Pick
A Cree proverb says it all: “Only when the last tree has withered and the last fish caught, and the last river poisoned, will we realize we cannot eat money.” De Buys has done his homework to present this remarkable book that covers a myriad of subjects dealing with the changing environment in the Southwest. He has traveled extensively to study water politics, forest ecology, disappearing wildlife, rising temperatures, poisoned water, hydroelectric power, and an increasing population in an arid environment. It would be desirable if all politicians, developers, economists, and Arizonans read this book. []
William deBuys has seen the future and it isn’t pretty. In this elegant and thoughtful rumination on climate change and its effects on our fragile desert environment, one of the Southwest’s premier environmental writers combines personal observation and interviews with leading scientists to describe where we’ve been and suggest where we may be headed. Taking the long view, he shows how flood, drought, fire and population migrations are recurring storylines that reach back into the ancient past, and cautions that global warming will only accelerate their impact on human habitation. But, deBuys is no doomsday prophet. The great message of his magnificent book is that, with knowledge and foresight, we can avert disaster and learn to live wisely on the land. []

Great Taos Bank Robbery, The: And Other True Stories
By Tony Hillerman. University of New Mexico Press. 150 pp. Updated with new introduction, new photographs; is it updated enough?. $15.95.
Top Pick
This collection of nonfiction pieces, seventeen in all, was published after Hillerman’s first two novels about forty years ago. The stories demonstrate the journalistic skills he brought to his writing and are as fresh today as when they first appeared in print. His daughter Anne provides a new introduction which adds both a sense of history and a welcome notice of Tony Hillerman as man, writer, and father. []
Sometimes it is a treat to see a book reprinted, and in this case it’s a delight to be presented with nine essays and short vignettes delivered in true Hillerman form. It is almost like reading a brand new book, since its first edition was published some forty years ago. The author’s daughter, Anne Hillerman, provides a new introduction while Don Strel’s photographs update this second edition. []

Guide to Plants of the Northern Chihuahuan Desert, A
By , Carolyn Dodson. University of New Mexico Press. 240 pp. Index. $24.95.
Each of 75 floral friends of the Chihuahuan Desert is portrayed by a line-drawing by Robert Dewitt Ivey and a color photograph to help us recognize it in the field. Entries not only include a description and a note about the plant’s name, but it also supplies fascinating facts about botany, ecology, and botanists. For example, the milkweed entry discusses latex, butterflies, and irritating sap. It is an enjoyable read as well as helpful field guide. []

Guide to Southern Arizona's Historic Farms and Ranches, A: Rustic Southwest Retreats
By Lili DeBarbieri. The History Press. 156 pp. $19.99.
Ready for a vacation but undecided where? This spryly written vacation catalogue will not only put you in the mood but will tell you where to spend an unforgettable day or week pampered at a southern Arizona guest ranch or farm. Options range from the venerable Rancho De La Osa near Sasabe to Tucson’s White Stallion Ranch where many movie scenes have been filmed. At others you can stay in rooms once occupied by famous artists and authors, movie stars, and even presidents. The farms include Gary Nabhan’s Almuniya de los Zapilotes and Aravaipa’s Country Inn. Following the history of each ranch, some of them a century old, we learn about their amenities and activities. Web links let us book our stay. Very tempting! []

Gus Blaisdell Collected
By Nicole Blaisdell Ivey, ed, William Peterson, ed. University of New Mexico Press. 416 pp. $40.00.

Albuquerque writer, editor, and bookstore proprietor Gus Blaisdell (1935-2003) left a literary legacy that deserves further reading and discussion. This volume contains many of his best pieces, as well as tributes from friends such as Stanley Cavel, Ira Jaffe, and David Morris in a commentary on art, books, movies, and photographs.
Hell of a Vision: Regionalism and the Modern American West
By Robert L. Dorman. University of Arizona Press. 272 pp. Index. $50.00.

Our Southwest gets its share of attention, but Dorman’s scope is the entire region west of the Rockies and his aim is to understand and illuminate the rise of regionalism during the 20th century, especially as represented in literature.
Hidden America:From Coal Miners to Cowboys, An Extraordinary Exploration of the Unseen People Who Make This Country Work
By Jeanne Marie Laskas. G.P. Putnam's Sons. 318 pp. $26.95.

In this Terkel-like glimpse into working America the Southwest rates two chapters, one on a “Guns ‘R’ Us” store in Arizona and another about a ranch in Texas. Neither are places you’ll probably visit on your own, but both reveal something of modern America.
I Am an Old Horned Toad
By Lane Johnson. Brown Wing Press. $15.00.
A sweet, short informative picture book about horned toads a.k.a. horned lizards written for very young children. This book is accompanied by a music CD with the story sung by Diamond Jim and Lynn Hewitt from original music by Merle Travis. []

I Don't Cry, But I Remember: A Mexican Immigrant's Story of Endurance
By Joyce Lackie. University of Arizona Press. 223 pp. Index. $26.95.
Lackie taped interviews with a Mexican woman who arrived on foot in Texas after World War II, a woman who bore twelve children, lost four others, and endured an abusive husband. Her story of hardship, poverty, and survival may not be unique: somehow she made the tortillas, kept the house and children clean and clothed, and respected her husband’s religious and political ideas, if not his personal weaknesses. Her religion (not Catholic) and belief in the sanctity of the family gave her strength; her proudest accomplishment, U.S. citizenship. In spite of repetitiveness, this is an insightful true story of courage and endurance. []

In the Country of Empty Crosses: The Story of a Hispano Protestant Family in Catholic New Mexico
By Arturo Madrid. Trinity University Press. 221 pp. $24.95.
Madrid’s family is Protestant, as the subtitle says, not Catholic, and has been for at least two centuries. Not intending to write a family history he was nonetheless attracted to the “hows and whys” of their New Mexico past. His fascinating account of the people and places, each of which gave him a piece of the puzzle, will appeal to anyone interested in this unusual aspect of our southwestern heritage. As he notes, a formal history of Hispanics in New Mexico who are not Catholic is still to be written. This is a significant piece of that story.
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In the Shadow of the Carmens: Afield with a Naturalist in the Northern Mexican Mountains
By Bonnie Reynolds McKinney. Texas Tech University Press. 192 pp. Index. $39.95.
Top Pick
For years we’ve heard about a magnificent but mysterious set of mountains in Mexico, just across the river from Big Bend National Park in Texas. Grand scenery, a menagerie of wild animals, picturesque waterfalls and a frontier lifestyle were hidden behind locked gates. Now we can at least peek over the fence, for biologist Bonnie McKinney shares her enormous appreciation and knowledge of the Maderas de Carmen where she has worked since 2001. She tags bears for study, counts eagles, searches for rare moles and catalogues plants. It is a well-told adventure of discovery in a place we hope to someday visit, and the book’s photographs confirm its world-class scenery and wildlife. []

James T. Bialac Native American Art Collection, The: Selected Works
By Mark Andrew White, ed. University of Oklahoma Press. 240 pp. Index. $29.95.

Bialac recently bequeathed his art collection created by indigenous cultures across America in the 20th and 21st century to the Fred Jones Museum of Art at the University of Oklahoma. A PhD program in Art History, the first in the country, will focus on Native art. Included in the four thousand piece collection are some 1000 kachinas, paintings, sculpture, pottery, basketry and more by well-known artisans such as Preston Singletary, Gerald Nailor, Allan Houser, and Fred Kaboti. Here is a whole museum in a book so a reader can browse and browse again to admire each and every item from a comfy armchair.
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This is a catalog of nearly 200 exceptional pieces of Native American art from a collection totaling about 4,000 items. The illustrations are in excellent color and range from paintings, drawings and prints to kachina dolls and other three-dimensional art. Six essays, including two by editor White, explain the building of the collection and its importance. []

Journey Around Our America, A: A Memoir of Cycling, Immigration, and the Latinoization of the U.S.
By Louis G. Mendoza. University of Texas Press. 218 pp. $25.00.

A man who didn’t even own a bicycle when he decided to ride across America and back, shares his experiences with many ethnic groups along his route. Part four narrates his observations on the Southwest.
Kearny's March: The Epic Creation of the American West, 1846-1847
By Winston Groom. Alfred A. Knopf. 311 pp. Index. $27.95.
Here is Winston Groom’s sixteenth book, an epic of magnificent proportions meant to tell the tale of President James K. Polk’s desire to have a secure America from sea to sea with Stephen Watts Kearny as its major player. It’s a good read, but one might come up short in reading his version of Jedediah Smith’s death by Comanches, which is purely speculative and not footnoted. The major report of Kearny’s march to California, was published in 1848 by his chief Topographical Engineer, William Hemsley Emory, Notes of a Military Reconnaisance. There is no evidence that Emory’s original report was consulted for this volume. As a matter of fact, Niles National Register, referenced fifty-six times, appears to be the major source of military reports, and can be searched online. The trail map of the Western United States could stand improvement. []

Landing in Las Vegas: Commercial Aviation and the Making of a Tourist City
By Daniel K. Bubb. University of Nevada Press. 157 pp. Index. $34.95.
As a commercial pilot based in Las Vegas Bubb knows the contemporary scene. Here he massages his academic thesis and dissertation into a clear and concise picture of how tourism has flourished thanks, at least in part, to its accessibility via the air. He is not much interested in those other pillars of the economy: gambling and prostitution. And, although he brings the story well into the 21st century, he does not try to balance the impact of commercial aviation with that of commercial air-conditioning! []

Landscape Dreams, A New Mexico Portrait
By Jeanetta Calhoun Mish, Marin Sardy. University of New Mexico Press. 140 pp. $50.00.
Top Pick
This large-format, black-and-white photographs (nearly 100 of them) demand attention–not because they are spectacular, no, but because they are thoughtful and filled with subtlety and nuance. A few people and a couple of horses hold the viewer’s attention, both because they are uncommon and because there are details that somehow draw the eye, as it were, to find out how the photographer did it. Viewed through his artistic lens, a fallen windmill, a horsewoman leaning on a porch pole, even two columns in Carlsbad Caverns, all represent the magic of New Mexico. []

Last Water on the Devil's Highway: A Cultural and Natural History of Tinajas Altas
By Bill Broyles, Gayle Harrison Hartmann, Gary Paul Nabhan, Thomas E. Sheridan, Mary Charlotte Thurtle. University of Arizona Press. 240 pp. Index. $49.95.
Top Pick
The Tinajas Altas, often called by the English designation “High Tanks,” are, as the desert rat might say, at least 30 miles from nowhere in the southwest corner of Arizona. Broyles and company have created a remarkably complete picture of the area based on a decade or so of in-depth research. This book is not just for scholars--every collection of desert literature, overland travel history and arid-lands botany should include it. []

Legendary Locals of Marana, Oro Valley, and Catalina
By Barbara Marriott. Legendary Locals. 127 pp. Index. $21.99.
Barbara Marriott brings us the pride of small town heroes and founders, the women and men who lend special character to Southwest communities. Here she delivers us portraits and bios of people locally famous in three towns northwest of Tucson, Arizona. Celebrities range from Elias Aboud to Henry Zipf. What a fun way to appreciate local history. []

Letters of the Swiss Jesuit Missionary Philipp Segesser (1689-1762), The: An Eyewitness to the Settlement of Eighteenth-Century Sonora (Pimeria Alta)
By Albrecht Classen, ed. Arizona Center for Medieval and Renaissance Studies. 245 pp. Index. .

A major contribution to Southwest history, these letters – reports, really – from missionary Philipp Segesser provide an eye-witness record of frontier Sonora in the eighteen century, complementing work by Kino and Pfefferkorn. The letters are freshly translated and notated. Some are personal glimpses into daily life of that time.
Lone Star Law: A Legal History of Texas
By Michael Ariens. Texas Tech University Press. 366 pp. Index. $49.95.

Law professor Michael Ariens brings to life the evolution of the Lone Star state’s laws on everything from rangeland grass to common-law marriage and oil rights to civil rights. It is a thorough and revealing look at an important topic, clearly told with sufficient irony and detail to make it rewarding reading.
Lowrider Space: Aesthetics and Politics of Mexican American Custom Cars
By Ben Chappell. University of Texas Press. 361 pp. Index. $55.00.
While cruising with the lowrider car clubs of Austin, scholar Ben Chappell takes us along in a wide-ranging discussion of family, community, art, racism, personal space, and identity. The pace speeds and plods, but overall the trip is informative and revealing. We learn about cars, working as a grocery checkout, living modestly, and finding car parts. To his surprise, Chappell meets not hoodlums but family men and women trying to make ends meet in this important sociology of cars. []

Matrons and Maids: Regulating Indian Domestic Service in Tucson, 1914-1934
By Victoria K. Haskins. University of Arizona Press. 230 pp. Index. $50.00.
Haskins looks in detail at the Federal program that placed Native American women, in this case mostly O’odhams, in menial and household jobs with the intended purpose of integrating them into white culture. The overseers of this process were local anglo women. Known as “outing” this little-known program made American white women activists in the acculturation process, albeit in a small way. This thorough study is not easy reading, but it adds an important element to our understanding of southwestern history. []

McLaurys in Tombstone, Arizona, The: An O.K. Corral Obituary
By Paul Lee Johnson. University of North Texas Press. 380 pp. $29.95.
“Of making of many books, there is no end...”–Ecclesiastes 12:12. Insert “about the O.K. Corral shootout” and you have a perfect, modern Arizona restatement. And yet, the McLaury story (Tom and Frank were killed by the Earps and Holliday in the shootout) makes an interesting tale. Nearly 70 pages of endnotes and bibliography attest to Johnson’s care and diligence in investigating the victims and the aftermath of what is, arguably, the best known event in Arizona history. []

Men on the Heber-Reno Sheep Trail
By Cindy Shanks. Authorhouse. 52 pp. $20.29.

Educator and Children's author Shanks offers the fourth and final title in her series about the historic Heber-Reno Sheep Trail.
Mexico & Mexicans in the Making of the United States
By John Tutino. University of Texas Press. 320 pp. Index. $55.00.
It is about time we had a comprehensive history of Mexico and the United States to help us understand how citizens of two countries living side by side since Colonial times have participated in various ways along in addition to the role Mexico has had in shaping the United States. John Turtino, Professor of History, Georgetown University, is joined by seven colleagues to present this important scholarly history. []

Mickey the Sheep Dog
By Cindy Shanks. AuthorHouse. $18.95.
Top Pick
In this charming picture book, Mickey, a border collie who works the sheep on the Heber-Reno sheep trail, tells the story of how he, his mom, dad and brothers herd 2000 sheep for 220 miles up to Greer, AZ, in the White Mountains. Mickey talks about his dad, Champ, who is hard working and very smart, Chispa, his mom, who is expecting puppies soon and his three brothers, Chochie, Duke and Azul. The journey to the White Mountains is a lengthy trip full of dust, rattlesnakes and cactus, but Mickey and his family push on and herd the sheep through fields, around fences and through gates to their destination. Mickey ends his story by saying, “We are strong… work hard… love our handlers and herders and they love us too.” Dog lovers will especially enjoy sharing Mickey’s adventures on the sheep trail. []

Militarizing the Border: When Mexicans Became the Enemy
By Miguel Antonio Levario. Texas A&M University Press. 195 pp. Index. $38.95.

Contemporary border tensions are put into historical context in this scholarly look at specific and sometimes bloody events on the Texas-Mexico line. It provides depth to any discussion of policies and laws, and forms a rich resource for discussion.
Mission San Xavier: A Story of Saints and Angels, Art and Artists/Una Historia de Santos y Angeles, Arte y Artistes
By Edna San Miguel. Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum Press. 72 pp. $19.95.
San Miguel’s wonderful colorful illustrations decorate this bilingual book, which is essentially divided into two parts. The first half of the book provides an outline of the Mission’s building and meaning and second half, which is more detailed, includes a timeline of forty dates ranging from 1692 (when Kino arrived at Bac) to 2011 (noting the continuing efforts to secure funding for restoration and repairs). Also included is an account of the ongoing preservation and restoration of both the building and its art. The volume concludes with a “Gallery of Saints” and a floor-plan noting the location of more than fifty images. []
Artist Edna San Miguel brings the flavor and force of San Xavier Mission in vibrant color and charming descriptions based upon her personal experiences there. The book has wonderful touches: bilingual texts, a timeline of the mission’s history, glossary, map of the mission, and tribute to the conservators. A wise choice for a gift book. []

Native American Bolo Ties: Vintage and Contemporary Artistry
By Diana F. Pardue, Norman L. Sandfield. Museum of New Mexico Press. 155 pp. Index. $29.95.
Top Pick
As usual, the Museum of New Mexico Press has given us fine publication. This time, it deals with bola ties and their history. It is probably less than seventy years since they have been around, with the name taken from the South American cowboys using Boleaderos (leather straps with weights at the end). Some 172 color photographs show the fine work of Navajo, Zuni, and Hopi artisans including one of cast glass and silver by Tlingit Preston Singletary. There are sections on Hallmarks or signatures of makers, patents, and the story of fittings. The ties are from the collections of the Heard Museum and Norman Sandfield. []
Whether you wish to marvel at beautiful Southwest jewelry or learn the definitive story of this official state necktie of Arizona, New Mexico and Texas, this lushly-illustrated book will please you. Produced in cooperation with the Heard Museum in Phoenix, many significant bolo ties, crafts-persons and designs are represented. Primarily made by Hopis or Navajos, these artful and symbolic ties range in design from traditional to comic, commemorative to abstract. Bolo ties deserve your second look. []

Navajo Talking Picture: Cinema on Native Ground
By Randolph Lewis. University of Nebraska Press. 215 pp. Index. $30.00.
Arlene Bowman earned her Master of Fine Arts in motion picture and television from the University of California at Los Angeles. She conceived the idea of filming a documentary featuring the traditional life of her Navajo grandmother. The resulting film was first introduced in 1985. Although it won awards nationally and internationally it received a great deal of criticism since her grandmother often objected to being filmed and Bowman, having been off the reservation for many years no longer shared Navajo culture. She had numerous problems with her project and these became the subject of this book along with analysis of other documentaries by Native people. Unfortunately, One would have to see the film and others like it to get the best of the analysis of a film produced over twenty-five years ago []

New Mexico Art Through Time: Prehistory to Present
By Joseph Traugott. Museum of New Mexico Press. 244 pp. Index. $50.00.
This survey, with more than 200 illustrations, takes the position that change in tastes does not mean that earlier artistic expression is somehow of lesser quality or value. Excellent color reproductions of artworks in large format, prehistory to the present, support Traugott’s presentation. A thorough index includes illustrations and text. []

New Mexico's Living Landscapes: A Roadside View
By William Dunmire. Museum of New Mexico Press. 136 pp. $29.95.
New Mexico is a stunningly beautiful state, with six ecoregions ranging from the Chihuahuan Desert to Montane Forests. Author Dunmire takes us on a visual tour of the state and explains the landscapes as we go. A fun “gotta-go-there” book. []

Nikkei in the Interior West: Japanese Immigration and Community Building 1882-1945
By Eric Walz. University of Arizona Press. 236 pp. Index. $50.00.
In his pioneering study, Walz describes the factors that impelled mostly rural immigrants to leave Japan and attracted them to the intermountain states of Arizona, Colorado, Utah, Idaho, Wyoming, Nevada,(and Nebraska), showing how they formed communities and forged ethnic identities. Arizona's Salt River Valley, in particular, figures prominently in this revealing tale of survival and adaptation. Rich in anecdote and grounded in solid research, Walz's revealing book lays a firm foundation for future examination of Japanese-American contributions to western settlement. []

Only One Living to Tell, The: The Autobiography of a Yavapai Indian
By Mike Burns. University of Arizona Press. 179 pp. $17.95.
Burns’ family was part of a branch of the Yavapais who were slaughtered in eastern Arizona by U.S. troops in 1872 in what is now known as the Skeleton Cave Massacre. In a brief, helpful preface McNamee explains how the text came to be written. He notes also that his intent was to do the least amount of editing so as to leave Burns’ words his own. This is a very successful effort that gives us a first-hand account of what life was like for Indians on the San Carlos Reservation toward the end of the 19th century; in particular Burns’ early years, of course, which included time spent away from the Reservation with cavalry troops. []
This very readable rendering of Mike Burns’ autobiography takes us back to the Arizona Indian wars, the Apache Kid, and life on a reservation. Burns, a Yavapai boy whose family was killed by soldiers in 1872, was adopted by a soldier and later served as a scout. The events and characters are remarkable. Two other books have resulted from Burns’ autobiographical notes: Elaine Waterstrat’s "Hoomothya's Long Journey, 1865-1897: The True Story of a Yavapai Indian" (1998), a young reader’s book, and "All of My People Were Killed," a heavier, annotated edition by the Sharlot Hall Museum in 2010. []

Oral History of the Yavapai
By Mike Harrison, John Williams. Acacia Publishing Inc.. 414 pp. Index. $24.95.
During March of 1974, Anthropologist Sigrid Khera began recording the oral histories of Yavapai elders, Mike Harrison (1886-1983) and John Williams (1904-1983) of Fort McDowell. Carolina Butler, well known for her project on the Orme Dam, has transcribed the documents in addition to providing an in depth historic background of the Yavapai in this fine book. These histories help round out the Yavapai story since the biographies of Carlos Montezuma (1866-1923) and Mike Burns (1864-1934) chronicled earlier times. []
Completed nearly thirty years ago and never before published, this is a curious mixture of history, memory and myth. Harrison and Williams, Yavapai elders, talked with Khera at various times during nearly a decade in the 1970s and 1980s. Her notes and taped conversations provided the basis for Butler’s editing. []

Orphaned Land, The: New Mexico's Environment Since the Manhattan Project
By V.B. Price. University of New Mexico Press. 362 pp. Index. $29.95.
Top Pick
Nuclear testing, Uranium mining, radioactive emissions, and various extractive industries in New Mexico have produced hazardous waste threatening both the environment and ground water supply in New Mexico. Radioactive contamination from Los Alamos National Laboratories is only one example of environmental impact over many years. The author notes that he writes about a subject that lacks publicly available scientific data hampered by both political and commercial interests. Mainly available are newspaper articles and government and sate agency reports.
This is a tough but important read, since in all instances the conditions threaten the health of New Mexicans.
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Price, a journalist and New Mexico transplant since 1960, paints a grim picture of his adopted state’s present and future economy and the health and well-being of its citizens. New Mexico is especially vulnerable on a number of levels because of past uranium mining, nuclear experimentation, careless waste disposal, prolonged drought, exploitation of lower socioeconomic minorities, political mindsets that more development is better, overly optimistic assessments of water reserves and a tendency to sweep problems under the table. However, it doesn’t take a genius to realize these problems are not unique to the Land of Enchantment. Carefully researched and clearly presented, this is an important wake-up call. []

Out of the Ruins: Pioneer Life in Frontier Phoenix, Arizona Territory 1867-1881
By Patrick Grady. Arizona Pioneer Press. 192 pp. $20.00.
Regular readers of southwestern and Arizona history will remember Grady’s detailed sketch of 50 years of pioneer life in Cave Creek, north of Phoenix. Here he tackles the first 15 years in the life of what was to become both the State’s largest city and its capital. As with the previous book, this one looks at details of the development including some brief accounts of major figures such as Darrell Duppa and Jack Swilling, along with lesser known but important “players” such as Michael Wormser, William Hancock and John T. Alsap. An extensive bibliography lists important published sources as well archives. I wish it had an index. []
Phoenix began as a farm town but it also had its Wild West share of shoot-outs and lynchings. Author Patrick Grady includes a love story of George and Aggie Loring, perspectives on society and “first” citizens, details on laying out the town, and fun information on early commerce and town life, making for light, interesting reading. A nice addition to the state’s centennial literature. []

Place All Our Own, A: Lives Entwined in a Desert Garden
By Mary Irish. University of Arizona Press. 213 pp. Index. $28.29.
Mary Irish believes that a person’s home landscaping loudly announces who lives there and how they relate to plants and neighbors. She planted all manner of aridland delights in her own yard near Phoenix, making it not only a favorite place to be but part of family. She shares her experiences with plants, her philosophy of learning to coexist with birds, animals, and bugs, and her considerable love of gardening, to which most of us can relate. A delightful story well-told leaving us primed for the next native plant sale. []

Playing With Shadows: Voices of Dissent in the Mormon West
By Polly Aird, ed, Will Bagley, ed, Jeff Nichols, ed. Arthur H. Clark Company. 496 pp. Index. $45.00.
Voices of Dissent adds volume 13 to the documented history of Mormonism, "Kingdom in the West: The Mormons and the American Frontier" and like the others, is meticulously researched. Here are the detailed diaries of three men and one woman each of whom had a wide range of beliefs, opinions, and complaints about the church, its leaders, and the direction it had taken toward building the ideal society. In addition to the four diaries, the editors have included an introductory history of Mormonism and an afterword that sums up various forms of dissension in the church. []

Pregnancy, Motherhood, and Choice in 20th Century Arizona
By Mary S. Melcher. University of Arizona Press. 364 pp. $50.00.
It is hard to believe that at one time in Arizona, doctors were tried and jailed for performing abortions. Though Melcher discusses the history of women's health in Arizona this could be quite true for the country at large. Her research, which includes oral histories, cover ethnicity, culture, income, laws, and geography. She particularly notes that continuing into the 21st century, discussion of women's rights has become a hot-button and complex political issue. []

Reckoning, The: Triumph of Order on the Texas Outlaw Frontier
By Peter R. Rose. Texas Tech University Press. 288 pp. Index. Texas Rangers rid the Edwards Plateau of outlaws in this fast-paced and spell-binding real life history of the 1870s. Author Peter Rose makes fact more exciting than fiction in this highly fascinating chapter of Texas history. . $34.95.

Texas Rangers rid the Edwards Plateau of outlaws in this fast-paced and spell-binding real life history of the 1870s. Author Peter Rose makes fact more exciting than fiction in this highly fascinating chapter of Texas history.
Remembering Miss O'Keeffe: Stories from Abiquiu
By Margaret Wood. Museum of New Mexico Press. 63 pp. .
In her last years renowned painter Georgia O’Keefe relied on housekeepers to help her cook, take walks in her garden, shop, read to her, and even to paint. Margaret Wood, then age 24, was one of these helpers, and she writes lovingly about those days and her employer who became a friend. No dark secrets are told, but the admiring stories buoy the legend, much as one remembers a distant but endearing grandmother. The book fits smoothly in the hand and the stories fit closely in one’s heart. The book deserves an award for its simple, elegant design, including lovely photos of O’Keefe at her home by the author’s father. []

Retrieving Tribal Memory: Mantids, Ungulates as Symbols of Death and Resurrection, Shamanism, and DNA
By Mardith Scheutz-Miller. Blue Arts Books. 379 pp. $39.95.

World-wide in coverage and interpretations Schuetz-Miller’s final chapters, from a lifetime of study, provide many connections to Navajo and Hopi symbolism, as well as to other Pueblo cultures.
Rim Country Exodus: A Story of Conquest, Renewal, and Race in the Making
By Daniel J. Herman. University of Arizona Press. 408 pp. Index. $60.00.
Herman continues the exploration of themes of conscience and honor he began in "Hell on the Range" (2010 Top Pick) with this thoroughly researched and confidently written account of Yavapai and Apache (Dilzhe'e) displacement and the impact it had upon Native and Anglo cultures across central Arizona. While scholars will profitably debate Herman's hypotheses regarding resistance, accommodation, and race, general readers are offered a well-told story of the sometimes tragic, and often surprising, ways in which the West was "won." This is revisionist history of the highest order. []

Route 66 Still Kicks: Driving America's Main Street
By Rick Antonson. Skyhorse Publishing. 359 pp. Index. $16.95.
Top Pick
To paraphrase Ecclesiastes: “Of the making of books about Route 66 there will be no end!” Here is this year’s submission. And it’s a very good addition. With a friend, Peter Armstrong, and a Mustang ragtop he called Shadow, Antonson set out to drive as much of the original Route 66 as possible. Beginning in Chicago and crossing east to west across both New Mexico and Arizona before ending at the Pacific Ocean, the three of them have high adventures and some low ones too, all of which are recounted with gusto. []
This is the excellent adventure of two guys who took off from Chicago in a rented, top-down convertible Mustang to explore the length of Route 66. They set out with agreed-upon Rules of the Road: there would to be no GPS or computerized mapping screen, they would not eat the same meal twice and they would stay at motels with the lowest rates. More significantly, they would never shortcut abandoned sections of the road no matter what conditions they encountered. This is where the 2400-mile adventure truly began, as they found themselves on roads that would stall a jeep. The “Mother Road” history provided by the adventurers may encourage readers to pack up and take off on their own before it all disappears. []

Safeway in Arizona, A: What the Gabrielle Giffords Shooting Tells Us About the Grand Canyon State and Life in America
By Tom Zoellner. Viking. 276 pp. $26.95.
Top Pick
Less than a year after the event, Zoellner provides a thorough and thoughtful account of the Giffords shooting and its aftermath. Perhaps more importantly, he surveys the attitudes and politics that have come to represent what is often characterized as “our gun culture.” He does not pretend that gun control--a hot-button issue if ever there was one--is a simple matter with simple solutions. Instead he presents the views of a range of citizens, demonstrating how very, very difficult it will be to find common ground. []
Because of overwhelming sadness and anger it was weeks before I could pick up this book and months before I could read it through, but I’m glad I did. Following the January 2011 mass shooting of innocent people, including a congresswoman, we in Tucson have struggled to cope, and newsman Zoellner provides a compelling discussion of the events while asking “are we who we think we are?” At least two other books from this horrific crime show how people recover from unprovoked terror: "Gabby: A Story of Courage and Hope" by Gabrielle Giffords and Mark Kelly and "As Good As She Imagined: The Redeeming Story of the Angel of Tucson, Christina Taylor-Green" by Roxanna Green and Jerry B. Jenkins. []

Saguaro National Park
By Jane Eppinga. Arcadia Publishing. 127 pp. Index. $21.99.
Jane Eppinga has assembled several of these photo books, each more fun than the last. This one provides a photographic history of Saguaro National Park’s founders, rangers, superintendents, and visitors, as well as classic cactus landscape. Her captions add much to the story. []

Santa Fe Indian Market: A History of Native Arts and the Marketplace
By Bruce Bernstein. Museum of New Mexico Press. 151 pp. Index. $29.95.
In 1952 the Santa Fe Indian Market was some 30 years old and by that time, the Native women began marketing their pottery waiting for the Atchison, Topeka and Santa Fe Railroad as it pulled into the station. I didn’t know it then when I briefly stepped off the Super Chief in Albuquerque and into another world. The women, in colorful Native dress, held small pieces of pottery in hand to sell to the tourists. This innocent from Canada was enthralled. Now, having read the above history of the Santa Fe Indian Market I can see that by 1952 many changes had taken place in promoting the arts by archaeologist Edward Hewett then Director of the Museum of New Mexico. People began to take notice and attend the yearly market in August. It wasn’t long before the crowds multiplied at what is now considered the premiere marketplace for Native art. The latest count for attendance was 100,000. Author Bernstein notes that “For some, Indian Market begins as a quiet whisper; for others, as a beautiful full-throated song.” A fine read that traces the evolution and acceptance of the creativity of our indigenous people. []

Santa Rita del Cobre: A Copper Mining Community in New Mexico
By Christopher Huggard, Terrence M. Humble. University Press of Colorado. 252 pp. Index. $45.00.
The legendary stone monument , the Kneeling Nun, will forever look down at a 1500-foot deep pit stretching one-and-a- half miles having given up millions of pounds of copper over 200 years. The village of Santa Rita once covered the pit but gradually disappeared when open pit mining was introduced. Thanks to Terry Humble, who grew up in the copper camp and later worked at the site, thousands of company records and photographs were saved. The mine closed down in 2007, but the rare pictures and maps in this volume are the only things left to record a detailed history of the town and mining into the 21st century. Thanks to Professor Christopher Huggard, a specialist in mining history, who brought the town back to life. []

Search for the Navajo Code Talkers
By Sally McClain. Rio Nuevo. 127 pp. Index. $12.95.
Sally McClain’s curiosity was aroused when she read a newspaper article about Navajo Marines. What on earth did the Navajo Marines do in the South Pacific in World War II? She writes about her personal journey to find answers and this small book records her personal interviews between 1988 and 1994 and subsequent friendship with many of the code talkers, including Carl Gorman and his wife Mary. Now in 2012, many have passed and McClain has reminisced about the “gentle honorable souls” who told about their lives and service in the United States Marine Corps. Readers need to know that Sally’s McClain was the first person to write about the code talkers and how they created their code in her 1994 book, Navajo Weapon, a scholarly and detailed account of the war in the Pacific where she uncovered the Code Talkers' secret language. That book was first published in 1994 by Books Beyond Borders and again in 2001 by Rio Nuevo Publishers. []

Shadow Catcher, The: A U.S. Agent Infiltrates Mexico's Deadly Crime Cartels
By Hipolito Acosta, Lisa Pulitzer. Atria Books. 255 pp. $24.99.
Special agent Acosta of the U.S. Immigration and Naturalization Service, who frequently worked undercover for long periods, had a long career of investigating and imprisoning smugglers, counterfeiters, and drug dealers in the U.S. and Mexico. The book reads like a crime novel, but is all the more effective because it’s factual. The reader is left with horror at the viciousness of these criminals, wonder at the resilience of the migrants who sacrifice all in hopes of a better life, and awe for people like Acosta, himself a Hispanic Texan, who put themselves at risk in order to bring these crooks to justice. Clearly and simply written, this book rings true. []

Shadows on the Mesa: Artists of the Painted Desert and Beyond
By Gary Fillmore. Schiffer Publishing Ltd.. Index. $69.99.
Top Pick
Fillmore, author of previous works on western art and owner of a gallery in tony Cave Creek, knows his subject: its background, its stars and its themes. His knowledge of western art and its history is prodigious. In "Shadows on the Mesa" he pays considerable attention to such artists as James Swinnerton and George Herriman (remember "Krazy Kat"?) as well as to Carl Eytel, Emry Kopta and others who rarely get adequate notice in such surveys. But he doesn’t ignore the stars; Maynard Dixon, Carl Oscar Borg and other notables are here as well. Lavishly illustrated in color. []
This stunning large format art book focuses on artists who loved and took inspiration from the landscapes and people of northern Arizona in the first part of the 20th Century. Most were guests at the Wetherill-Colville Guest Ranch in Kayenta. The author has researched the various artists, painters, cartoonists, authors, and movie icons, and while their stories are fascinating and their art illustrations mesmerizing, what makes this book special is their shared love of this unique land. This is a marvelous collection of work from the still famous to the now obscure men and women who portrayed this amazing Colorado Plateau landscape. []

Sixty Miles of Border: An American Lawman Battles Drugs on the Mexican Border
By Terry Kirkpatrick. Berkley Books. 327 pp. $15.00.
Sometimes a photograph says it all. In this case, the author poses with a fellow customs agent at the back of their vehicle, each hoisting an automatic weapon in one hand and a cold beer in the other. In his profanity laced and adrenaline fueled memoir, Kirkpatrick recounts two decades of harrowing experiences in border law enforcement, while paying tribute to the "crazy, dedicated characters" who stood shoulder-to-shoulder with him in the field. Kirkpatrick may not be the most polished writer, or even the most sympathetic character, but his unvarnished account of the chaotic world of drug kingpins, bureaucratic incompetents, and freewheeling lawmen has the ring of truth - and its more than a little scary. []

Skirting Traditions: Arizona Women Writers and Journalists 1912-2012
By Carol Hughes, ed, Lois McFarland, ed, June Payne, ed, Sheila Roe, ed, Pam Stevenson, ed, Brenda Warneka, ed. Wheatmark. 298 pp. Index. $22.95.
The twenty-eight unique women on this list all broke with traditional expectations because they wanted to work at writing – not so easy in the early days. Most came to Arizona from somewhere else and put their diverse skills to work, often at a disadvantage in the so-called “man’s world" of journalism. It was not long before Arizona Press Women, Inc. was founded, and the authors of this anthology are award-winning members of that organization. It is fitting that these women were honored during Arizona’s Centennial celebration. []

Southeastern Arizona Mining Towns
By William Ascarza. Arcadia Publishing. 126 pp. $21.99.
As with all the volumes in the “Images of America” series from Arcadia Publishing, this tightly-focused volume provides a visual survey of its topic by means of reproducing more than 200 photos with lengthy captions. Each of the six chapters has a short introductory essay setting the scene for these photo galleries with such titles as 'Small Mining Towns and Localities' and 'The Process.' Although not located in Arizona a separate chapter covers that just-south-of-the-border mining town, Cananea. []
This book is divided into sections: early mining, large mining districts, small mining districts, Cananea (MX), the process and the product. It has a bibliography, two maps showing the districts, and hundreds of black and white photos, but no index. Reading it is like visiting a photography exhibit with didactics. While each chapter has a one-page introduction, the bulk of the text is dedicated to explaining the photographs. This handbook provides a general overview but would not be useful as a guidebook or research tool for specific mines. []

Southwest Reflections: Grand Canyon and The Four Corners
By Steve Larese. Schiffer. 144 pp. $29.99.
More than 200 bright, color photographs of scenes throughout our region make this a perfect gift for that relative back in the wintry Midwest dreaming about a winter vacation to warmer climes! []
This is a stunning collection of colored photographs of glorious vistas within a few hundred miles of the Four Corners area. The only text is a one-page introduction opposite a print of The Navajo Beauty Way Ceremony, and the brief captions accompanying each photograph. A list of sources for tourist information is given at the back. A map of the area would have been helpful. This is an inspirational book for browsing, encouraging travel, or reminiscing about places previously visited, but it wouldn’t serve as a travel guide. []

Spanish Colonial Settlement Landscapes of New Mexico, 1598-1680, The
By Elinore Barrett. University of new Mexico Press. 280 pp. Index. $49.95.
Tackling a very difficult task, Barrett synthesizes limited historical and archaeological data to create “landscapes," or collective pictures, of topics related to the early years of Spanish occupancy of the region. Aimed at academic professionals, her categories begin broadly with such chapters as 'The Pueblo Landscape' then move to specific geographic areas such as 'The Villa of Santa Fe', 'The Santo Domingo Basin' and 'The Southern Rio Grande Region.' Not intended as easy reading, this is a volume for serious research collections, both personal and institutional. []

State Out of the Union: Arizona and the Final Showdown Over the American Dream
By Jeff Biggers. Nation Books. 277 pp. Index. $25.99.
Top Pick
This is a very readable account of Arizona’s leadership and the hot-button issues—including immigration and the ban on State funding for Ethnic Studies in Tucson—that have put the state in the national spotlight. Demonstrating that controversy is not new to Arizona, Biggers also recounts historic episodes of political showdowns and confrontations dating back decades that will intrigue students of history and politics alike.
[]

Superstition Wilderness Trails West: Hikes, Horse Rides and History
By Jack Carlson, Elizabeth Stewart. Clear Creek Publishing. 416 pp. Index. $16.95.
Wilderness seekers, even those who ride horses, will find this remarkable book a backpack/saddlebag necessity. It provides info on more than 80 possible trails with topo sheet excerpts for guidance. For many of the trails it has a “history and legends” section, and there is an index as well as a reading list. This book updates the Carlson and Stewart guide of more than 15 years ago which covered the entire Superstition area, and an upgraded guide for the eastern portion is promised! []
Wizened prospectors, dry washes in flood, treasure maps, frontier history, and hiking instructions combine to make this a must-own book about the Superstition Mountains east of Phoenix, Arizona. The accounts are exciting and the trails inviting. It is the companion book to Superstition Wilderness Trails East, another splendid book. []

Taco USA: How Mexican Food Conquered America
By Gustavo Arellano. Scribner. 310 pp. Index. $25.00.
Who really invented taco chips, the chimichanga and the Sonoran Hot Dog? Gustavo Arelleno, whose syndicated column “Ask A Mexican!” has a circulation of more than two million readers, offers an amazing and amusing history of Mexican cuisine in the US including such subjects as Taco Bell, the Margarita and the invention of the pastrami burrito. []

Texas Amphibians: A Field Guide
By Terry Hibbitts, Toby Hibbitts, Troy Hibbitts, Travis Laduc, Bob Tipton. University of Texas Press. 309 pp. Index. $24.95.
Although fewer of the many Texas salamanders, toads, frogs, sirens, waterdogs, and newts live in what we call the arid Southwest, this book covers them in great detail with range maps, descriptions, habits and habitats, and interesting details of their lives. The richly illustrated volume is the size and quality of a Peterson Guide, suited for pocket or glovebox. A great book for the serious student or amateur naturalist. []

Texas, My Texas: Musings of the Rambling Boy
By Lonn Taylor. Texas Christian University Press. 197 pp. $22.95.
Taylor’s musings, 53 of them in all, first appeared in his column in the "Big Bend Sentinel," a weekly published in Marfa, TX. With titles such as “Real Cowboys Don’t Have Time to Sing” and “Wigfall Van Sickle, the Sage of Alpine” you can expect a treat, and Taylor delivers. The characters in his essays are sometimes well-known--Sam Bass, for example, is here-- but more often they are grandparents, great-aunts and distant cousins, each adding a tiny piece to that grand “folkloristic quilt” we call Texas. []

Thinking Like a Watershed: Voices from the West
By Celestia Loeffler, ed., Jack Loeffler, ed.. University of New Mexico Press. 280 pp. $24.95.

In thoughtful interviews and essays eleven Southwesterners look our future square in the eye and ask “where’s the water?” Can we preserve diverse cultures and landscapes? Their views will inspire and may surprise you.
Tracking the Texas Rangers: The Nineteenth Century
By Bruce A. Glasrud, ed, Harold J. Weiss, Jr., ed. University of North Texas Press. 358 pp. Index. $29.95.
Glasrud and Weiss have gathered together 15 articles by noted scholars, as well as a photo gallery, describing the activities of Texas Rangers from the 1820s through 1903. The topics range from the Comanche raid of 1840 to labor troubles in the 1890s, and from outlaw pursuits to dealings with Hispanics and Native Americans. The editors do a splendid job of displaying the shift from traditional to revisionist interpretations of ranger history. Newcomers to the topic will appreciate the helpful timeline and selected bibiliography. []
This is an edifying collection of 15 previously-published articles on Texas Ranger history. Arranged chronologically from the Rangers’ inception in the early 1800s to the present day, the articles portray diverse points of view about the Rangers, from heroic saviors to barbarian racist criminals and various assessments in between. It was interesting to consider their changing roles from protectors of Anglo Texans against Native American and Mexican depredations, to major military support in the Mexican-American War (1846-8), to professional lawmen protecting citizens against criminals, and finally, their current status as part of the Department of Public Safety. This collection provides a wealth of information but draws no conclusions, except that Ranger history is complicated. []

Trinity: A Graphic History of the First Atomic Bomb
By Jonathan Fetter-Vorm. Hill and Wang. 152 pp. $22.00.
When we see “graphic” in the title, or subtitle, we may think “unsophisticated” but this book is not. Fetter-Vorm’s illustrations let us recognize characters such as Szilard, Oppenheimer and, of course, Einstein, involved in the development of the atomic bomb and its ultimate testing at New Mexico’s Trinity site near Los Alamos. He tells the complete story from earliest “atomic” ideas to the devastation in Japan. So, in some sense, this sophisticated comic book is not southwestern, it is universal. []

Very Hairy Christmas, A
By Susan Lowell. Rio Chico . $15.95.
Top Pick
Juan, Josefina and José are three little javelinas waiting for Santa on Christmas Eve. They are baking him special spicy cookies! Santa comes down the chimney that night with a “Huff-Puff!,” then corrects himself, saying, “I mean - Ho-Ho-Ho. “ Santa samples the javelina gingerbread cookies and howls with a sneeze, a shriek and a siren, “Holy jalapeños!” as he munches into the chile pepper-spiced cookies. Smoke blows out of his ears and his fake beard and mustache fly off, revealing that he is actually a sly Coyote. “A very Hairy Christmas to All!” shouts Josefina Javelina as she gives Coyote a very hairy kiss. []

Virgin of Guadalupe, The: Art and Legend
By John Annerino. Gibbs Smith. 111 pp. Index. $21.99.
Top Pick
The author has created a modestly-sized but lavish book focusing on the iconic Black Madonna. Art lovers, students of Mexican history and aficionados of southwestern lore will appreciate this bilingual volume, the largest part of which is given over to photos of various renditions of the Virgin throughout Mexico and the Southwest, some from private collections. The photos are often juxtaposed with famous quotes, such as the patriotic ‘Cry for Independence’ of Father Hidalgo. Annerino gets into the mood of reverence by virtue of his own experience witnessing miraculous stones in a rural Mexican community. This is a beautiful book. []
One of the enduring symbols of the Southwest is the Virgin of Guadalupe, who appears in paintings, statues, tapestries and stained glass windows in nearly every town and village. In a splendid array of color photographs, John Annerino brings us the mystique and the art as never before. His stories ring true, the pages are sumptuous, and both the art and legends will fascinate the curious and the faithful. This may be the most beautifully done Southwest book of 2012. []

We Will Secure Our Future: Empowering the Navajo Nation
By Peter Iverson, Peterson Zah. University of Arizona Press. 196 pp. Index. $17.95.
This book is the result of conversations over time between Peterson Zah, Special Assistant to the President of ASU and Regents Professor Peter Iverson on Indian issues and concerns. Zah recently resigned his position at ASU and returned to “Navajo,” as he calls the Nation, to work with some of the challenges the reservation faces today. Zah and Iverson met in the Labriola National American Data Center over a period of several years to record the many sessions that make up this biography. A transcript and audio version will be available at the Center in the near future. This is a fine record of contributions that Zah has made to Native students in Arizona and to the Navajo Nation over the years. []

When Law Was in the Holster: The Frontier Life of Bob Paul
By John Boessenecker. University of Oklahoma Press. 464 pp. Index. $34.95.
Boessenecker fills a huge void in law enforcement history with this meticulous biography of the Pima County sheriff and U.S. marshal who maintained order in southern Arizona during the tumultuous heydey of the Earp brothers and Geronimo. In chronicling Paul's adventurous life as a whaler, gold rush miner, and peace officer, Boessenecker provides ample evidence supporting the claim that his larger-than-life subject was "one of the great lawmen of the Old West." Readers will especially relish Boessenecker's fascinating description of the no-holds-barred world of frontier politics. []

Wild Tongues: Transnational Mexican Popular Culture
By Rita Urquijo-Ruiz. University of Texas Press. 217 pp. Index. $55.00.

Using examples from twentieth-century Chicana and Latina theatre, scholar Rita E. Urquijo-Ruiz shows how stage characters helped form and turn social opinion in both the US and Mexico. Never underestimate the power of entertainment to move ideas.
Wineslinger Chronicles, The: Texas on the Vine
By Russell D. Kane. Texas Tech University Press. 205 pp. Index. $29.95.
Kane leads readers on a breezy tour of Texas wine country from its Spanish birthplace in the Rio Grande Valley to the Big Bend and high plains, the Cross Timbers along the Red River, the central Texas hill country, and the Gulf Coast. While taking a Texan's pride in his state's fifth ranking among US wine producers, he is also a realist who underscores the concerns of the growers he interviews that the fate of their business ultimately depends on Texas's capricious climate. For aficianados who want to learn more about wine culture in the Lone Star State, Kane includes a list of participating wineries in the Texas Department of Agriculture's "Go Texan Program," complete with website addresses. []

Woman in Both Houses, A: My Career in New Mexico Politics
By Pauline Eisenstadt. University of New Mexico Press. 192 pp. Index. $27.95.
Eisenstadt has written a memoir, concentrating on her experiences as the first woman to serve in both houses of the New Mexico legislature, 1985-2000. A lifelong Democrat, she comes across as deeply committed to her districts and justice but also open-minded toward differing points of view, and as a pragmatist willing to lose a battle in order to win a war. Like many memoirs, it is heavy on family/professional photos, and names and issues unfamiliar and of little interest to a reader outside of New Mexico; but she writes clearly and convincingly, particularly as a woman in what is still largely a man’s world. []

Writings of Eusebio Chacon, The
By Francisco A. Lomeli, ed, A. Gabriel Melendez, ed. University of New Mexico Press. 273 pp. $45.00.
As the editors note, Chacon’s literary production was not large and any interest it generated in his lifetime ended with his death in 1948. With a law degree from Notre Dame he returned to Trinidad, CO, just north of his hometown of Presidio in northern New Mexico. Over the next 50 years he produced a small literary output. Here are four novelettes and twenty-some short stories as well as poems and letters, in both their original Spanish with English translations. All are very much a "product of their times." []

Zebulon Pike, Thomas Jefferson, and the Opening of the American West
By Jay Buckley, Matthew Harris. University of Oklahoma Press. 256 pp. Index. $29.95.
Seven historians reassess Zebulon Montgomery Pike's contributions to western exploration,examining his additions to knowledge and science, evaluating his controversial career in comparison with other Jeffersonian-era explorers, and analyzing his role in the schemes of Aaron Burr and James Wilkinson to carve out an empire in the American Southwest. Their measured assessments go a long way toward achieving Harris's objective of presenting Pike as "a capable explorer . . . [whose] two expeditions mapping and exploring the boundaries of the Louisiana Purchase marked the beginning of a long chain of commercial and political events that helped the United States secure the border with New Spain." []

Pima County Website