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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.

I Fought a Good Fight: A History of the Lipan Apaches
By Sherry Robinson. University of North Texas Press. 495 pp. Index. $32.95.
In this exhaustively researched and intensely detailed study, Robinson chronicles five centuries of survival as this often-misidentified and frequently misunderstood people waged warfare and diplomacy with Spaniards, Mexicans, Anglo-Americans, and other native groups across the broad expanse of West Texas, New Mexico, and northern Mexico. Apart from the sheer mass of information Robinson has compiled, her use of oral tradition and assembling of rare photographs make this by far the most comprehenisve and sympathetic history of one of the Southwest's most unfairly overlooked tribal entities. []

Imagining Geronimo: An Apache Icon in Popular Culture
By William M. Clements. University of New Mexico Press. 305 pp. Index. $39.95.
This in-depth survey looks at the ways in which Geronimo has become not just an important historical figure but a symbolic figure. The concluding three chapters look at his image/face, the literature about him, and the movies his story has created. A serious, scholarly work that will be an important text in the Geronimo canon for the foreseeable future. []

In the Shadow of Billy the Kid: Susan McSween and the Lincoln County War
By Kathleen P. Chamberlain. University of New Mexico Press. 312 pp. Index. $27.95.
Chamberlain brings a new perspective to the Southwest's most celebrated eruption of outlawry in this thoughtful and exhaustively researched biography of the strong-willed protagonist who achieved legendary status of her own as the Cattle Queen of New Mexico. In doing so, Chamberlain not only dispels the negative stereotypes that dogged McSween during her lifetime, and that still tarnish her image among twenty-first-century historians, but provides welcome insights into Victorian gender roles on the western frontier. Historians and general readers, alike, will appreciate this important and entertaining story of a formidable woman making her way in a cutthroat world. []
Eastern Michigan University Professor of Indian History Chamberlain has meticulously documented Susan McSween Barber’s participation in the events surrounding the five-day July, 1878 “Lincoln County War,” and her life in its aftermath. In the “War,” in which two factions gun-battled over who would own the mercantile rights in this area of southeastern New Mexico, young Henry McCartney (Billy the Kid) fought on the side of Susan and Alexander McSween. McSween was killed on July 19, but Susan would go on to be a successful rancher in her own right. The biography provides considerable, interesting evidence that corrupt politicians, lawmen, businessmen, and lawyers are not a new phenomenon. []

Indian Resilience and Rebuilding: Indigenous Nations in the Modern American West
By Donald L. Fixico. University of Arizona Press. 284 pp. Index. $24.96.

Despite lingering problems on Indian reservations, many tribes are showing strength and resilience as they rebuild their homelands and cultures. Author Donald Fixico is not only a scholar of the past but a visionary for the future.
Informal and Underground Economy of the South Texas Border, The
By Michael J. Pisani, Chad Richardson. University of Texas Press. 335 pp. Index. $55.00.
Top Pick
If you have even a casual acquaintance with the U.S.-Mexico borderlands, you’ve seen the sidewalk vendors, the backyard mechanic shops, the maids and nannies at the bus stop, and the shady character who sports gold jewelry but has no apparent job. They are part of a surprisingly robust but largely unseen economy that bends or ignores laws on both sides of the line. In an exceptionally lucid and informative book, Chad Richardson and Michael Pisani put faces and numbers on this multi-billion-dollar informal and underground labor force. Although Richardson and Pisani focus on South Texas, you’ll see your own border communities in a whole new light. The undocumented maids and janitors working in the U.S. average $4.92 an hour and field workers and ranch hands $3.85, while the hourly average for persons working in underground, largely criminal activities on one side of the line is $74.41 but for those willing to cross the line the average is $121.70 per hour. The authors of this splendid study give us a clear-eyed economic and sociological look at how poor people survive, how complex regulations are navigated by street savvy workers, and how this hidden economy actually buoys the region and complements the visible workforce. There are surprises at every turn. A book as fascinating as it is timely! []

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