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Canyon of Dreams: Stories from Grand Canyon History
by Don Lago
University of Utah Press, 2014
Paper: 978-1-60781-314-9 | eISBN: 978-1-60781-315-6
Library of Congress Classification F788.L336 2013
Dewey Decimal Classification 979.132

The Grand Canyon—long recognized as one of North America’s premier natural wonders—has stirred human imagination and creativity, leaving an indelible mark on all who have encountered its spectacular vistas and intricate landscapes. Stories of the canyon’s early inhabitants to its modern day visitors are as varied and deep as the canyon’s cliffs.

In 1928 astronomer Edwin Hubble came to the canyon to test it as a site for the world’s greatest observatory. In the 1960s the Apollo astronauts hiked into the canyon to learn geology in preparation for lunar explorations. Famous writers and poets have looked to the canyon to find the meanings of nature and God. Dreamers turned a 1909 newspaper hoax into an elaborate myth about ancient Egyptian tombs in the canyon. Canyon of Dreams tells these and other stories, including that of Brighty the burro, who inspired a classic children’s novel, and the story of a teenaged Roger Miller, who spent a summer living in a trailer and “pushin’ broom” at the canyon, leading to his song “King of the Road.” Newspaper tycoon William Randolph Hearst’s fight against the National Park Service to retain property he owned on the canyon rim is another illuminating tale. Despite being little known in the official annals of Grand Canyon history, the fight served as a pivotal moment in the much broader struggle between promoters of wilderness conquest and those advocating for preservation.
This eclectic compilation runs the gamut from the idiosyncratic to the landmark, the mythical to the empirical, and everything in between. The narratives are captivating and sure to appeal to readers interested in the Grand Canyon’s long and complex history. The work is thoroughly researched and will prove a valuable contribution to historical scholarship. Canyon of Dreams sheds light on many obscure aspects of the canyon and takes readers on rollicking adventures in the process.

See other books on: Anecdotes | Dreams | Grand Canyon (Ariz.) | Lago, Don | Stories
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