Few American towns went untouched by World War II, even those in remote corners of the country. During that era, the federal government forever changed the lives of many northern Arizona citizens with the construction of the U.S. Army ordnance depot at Bellemont, ten miles west of Flagstaff. John Westerlund now tells how this ...
Newcomers to Tucson know the Santa Cruz River as a dry bed that can become a rampaging flood after heavy rains. Yet until the late nineteenth century, the Santa Cruz was an active watercourse that served the region's agricultural needsuntil a burgeoning industrial society began to tap the river's underground flow.
The Lessening Stream reviews the changing human use of the Santa Cruz River and its aquifer from the earliest human presence in the valley to today. Michael Logan examines the social, cultural, and political history of the Santa Cruz Valley while interpreting the implications of various cultures' impacts on the river and speculating about the future of water in the region.
Logan traces river history through three erasarchaic, modern, and postmodernto capture the human history of the river from early Native American farmers through Spanish missionaries to Anglo settlers. He shows how humans first diverted its surface flow, then learned to pump its aquifer, and today fail to fully understand the river's place in the urban environment.
By telling the story of the meandering riverfrom its origin in southern Arizona through Mexico and the Tucson Basin to its terminus in farmland near PhoenixLogan links developments throughout the river valley so that a more complete picture of the river's history emerges. He also contemplates the future of the Santa Cruz by confronting the serious problems posed by groundwater pumping in Tucson and addressing the effects of the Central Arizona Project on the river valley.
Skillfully interweaving history with hydrology, geology, archaeology, and anthropology, The Lessening Stream makes an important contribution to the environmental history of southern Arizona. It reminds us that, because water will always be the focus for human activity in the desert, we desperately need a more complete understanding of its place in our lives.
When Americans migrated west, they carried with them not only their hopes for better lives but their religious traditions as well. Yet the importance of religion in the forging of a western identity has seldom been examined. In this first historical overview of religion in the modern American West, Ferenc Szasz shows the important role that organized religion played in the shaping of the region from the late-nineteenth to late-twentieth century. He traces the major faiths over that time span, analyzes the distinctive response of western religious institutions to national events, and shows how western cities became homes to a variety of organized faiths that cast only faint shadows back east. While many historians have minimized the importance of religion for the region, Szasz maintains that it lies at the very heart of the western experience. From the 1890s to the 1920s, churches and synagogues created institutions such as schools and hospitals that shaped their local communities; during the Great Depression, the Latter-day Saints introduced their innovative social welfare system; and in later years, Pentecostal groups carried their traditions to the Pacific coast and Southern Baptists (among others) set out in earnest to evangelize the Far West. Beginning in the 1960s, the arrival of Asian faiths, the revitalization of evangelical Protestantism, the ferment of post-Vatican II Catholicism, the rediscovery of Native American spirituality, and the emergence of New Age sects combined to make western cities such as Los Angeles and San Francisco among the most religiously pluralistic in the world. Examining the careers of key figures in western religion, from Rabbi William Friedman to Reverend Robert H. Schuller, Szasz balances specific and general trends to weave the story of religion into a wider social and cultural context. Religion in the Modern American West calls attention to an often overlooked facet of regional history and broadens our understanding of the American experience.
Hoover Dam was constructed during one of the most depressed economic climates in American history, in a remote desert canyon where temperatures ranged from single to triple digits. In order to visually document the project, the Bureau of Reclamation assigned employee Ben Glaha to photograph all aspects of the dam's construction. Glaha's photographs were used in press releases, periodicals, books, pamphlets, and slide shows to demonstrate that the dam was structurally sound and that government funds were being used wisely.
Hoover Dam: The Photographs of Ben Glaha is the first detailed examination of Glaha's images of the project, some of which have never before been published. Glaha photographed every aspect of the construction processfrom details of how the dam was assembled to the overall progress as the dam rose from the bottom of the dry riverbed.
Glaha not only provided the Bureau with the photographs it required, he also employed his own artistic abilities to produce images of the dam that were exhibited in museums and galleries as works of art. Because Glaha was able to create a selection of Hoover Dam photographs worthy of exhibition, he was unique among government documentary photographers.
Art historian Barbara Vilander's text places Glaha's efforts within the historical context of western landscape exploration and development and reveals how his particular qualifications led to his selection as the project photographer. Vilander then examines the many publications and venues in which the Bureau used Glaha's photographs to create support for the project. She also discusses how Glaha was recognized in his own era as an influential artist and teacher, and compares his work with that of other contemporary landscape photographers addressing western water management.
Glaha's Hoover Dam images were widely published, although in accordance with Bureau policy he was not usually given personal credit and therefore his name remains largely unknown. Vilander's book corrects that oversight by giving Glaha the technical and artistic credit he is due within the context of one of the most ambitious projects in American history.
Acclaimed by readers and reviewers alike, the first volume of The Presidio and Militia on the Northern Frontier of New Spain was a landmark in the documentary study of seventeenth-century Spanish Colonial Mexico. Here, Charles W. Polzer and Thomas E. Sheridan bring the same incisive scholarship and careful editing to long-awaited ...
Phoenix is the largest city in the Southwest and one of the largest urban centers in the country, yet less has been published about its minority populations than those of other major metropolitan areas. Bradford Luckingham has now written a straightforward narrative history of Mexican Americans, Chinese Americans, and African ...
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