In The War on Slums in the Southwest, Robert Fairbanks provides compelling and probing case studies of economic problems and public housing plights in Albuquerque, Dallas, Houston, Phoenix and San Antonio. He provides brief histories of each city--all of which expanded dynamically between 1935 and 1965--and how they responded to slums under the Housing Acts of 1937, 1949, and 1954.
Despite being a region where conservative politics has ruled, these Southwestern cities often handled population growth, urban planning, and economic development in ways that closely followed the national account of efforts to eliminate slums and provide public housing for the needy. The War on Slums in the Southwest therefore corrects some misconceptions about the role of slum clearance and public housing in this region as Fairbanks integrates urban policy into the larger understanding of federal and state-based housing policies.
Ferrell Secakuku remembers the ancient farming rites of his Hopi people but saw them replaced by a cash economy. Sheep rancher Joe Manterola recalls watching hard scrabble farms on what is now tree-studded grassland on Garland Prairie. Navajo Rose Gishie once saw freshly dug holes fill with clean, drinkable water where none rises today. All over northern Arizona, people have seen the landscapes change, and livelihoods with them. In this remarkable book they share their stories.
Thirteen narratives—from ranchers, foresters, scientists, Native American farmers, and others—tell how northern Arizona landscapes and livelihoods reflect rapid social and environmental change. The twentieth century saw huge changes as Arizona’s human population swelled and vacation-home developments arose in the backcountry. Riparian areas dried up, cattle ranching declined, and some wildlife species vanished while others thrived. The people whose words are preserved here have watched it all happen.
The book is a product of Northern Arizona University’s Ecological Oral Histories project, which has been collecting remembrances of long-time area residents who have observed changes to the land from the 1930s to the present day. It carves a wide swath, from the Arizona Strip to the Mogollon Rim, from valleys near Prescott to the New Mexico line. It takes readers to the Bar Heart Ranch north of Williams and to the Doy Reidhead Ranch southeast of Holbrook, to the forests of Flagstaff and the mesas of Indian country.
Enhanced with more than fifty illustrations, this book brings environmental change down to earth by allowing us to see it through the eyes of those whose lives it has directly touched. What Has Passed and What Remains is a window on the past that carries important lessons for the future.
Life in the desert is a waiting game: waiting for rain. And in a year of drought, the stakes are especially high.
John Alcock knows the Sonoran Desert better than just about anyone else, and in this book he tracks the changes he observes in plant and animal life over the course of a drought year. Combining scientific knowledge with years of exploring the desert, he describes the variety of ways in which the wait for rain takes place—and what happens when it finally comes.
The desert is a land of five seasons, featuring two summers—hot, dry months followed by monsoon—and Alcock looks at the changes that take place in an entire desert community over the course of all five. He describes what he finds on hikes in the Usery Mountains near Phoenix, where he has studied desert life over three decades and where frequent visits have enabled him to notice effects of seasonal variation that might escape a casual glance.
Blending a personal perspective with field observation, Alcock shows how desert ecology depends entirely on rainfall. He touches on a wide range of topics concerning the desert’s natural history, noting the response of saguaro flowers to heat and the habits of predators, whether soaring red-tailed hawk or tiny horned lizard. He also describes unusual aspects of insects that few desert hikers will have noticed, such as the disruptive color pattern of certain grasshoppers that is more effective than most camouflage.
When the Rains Come is brimming with new insights into the desert, from the mating behaviors of insects to urban sprawl, and features photographs that document changes in the landscape as drought years come and go. It brings us the desert in the harshest of times—and shows that it is still teeming with life.
Where Clouds Are Formed
Ofelia Zepeda University of Arizona Press, 2008 Library of Congress PS3576.E64W47 2008 | Dewey Decimal 811.54
Ofelia Zepeda is a Native American poet who possesses a kind of double vision. She sees the contemporary world through her own highly observant eyes and, at the same time, through the eyes of her Tohono O’odham ancestors. Seeing this way infuses her poetry with a resonance and depth that makes it a delight to read—and re-read.
Zepeda is as clear-eyed about the past as she is about the present. She recalls waiting for the school bus on a cold morning inside her father’s truck, listening to the sounds of the engine, the windshield wipers, and the “soft rain on the hood.” She remembers celebrating Mass on the “cold dirt floor of the Winter Solstice.” In the present, she sees both the frustration and the humor in a woman she observes trying to eat pancakes with one hand while her other resides in a cast: “Watching her, I realize eating pancakes is a two-handed job.”
Whatever she sees, she filters through her second set of eyes, which keep the past always present. She tells of traveling to Waw Giwulig, the most sacred mountain of the Tohono O’odham, to ask for blessings—and forgiveness. She writes that one should always bring music to the mountains, “so they are generous with the summer rains.” And, still, “the scent of burning wood / holds the strongest memory. / Mesquite, cedar, piñon, juniper, . . . / we catch the scent of burning wood; / we are brought home.” It is a joy to see the world afresh through her eyes.
In January 1999, five women were elected to the highest offices in Arizona, including governor, secretary of state, attorney general, treasurer, and superintendent of public instruction. The “Fab Five,” as they were dubbed by the media, were sworn in by U.S. Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O’Connor, herself a former member of the Arizona legislature. Some observers assumed that the success of women in Arizona politics was a result of the modern women’s movement, but Winning Their Place convincingly demonstrates that these recent political victories have a long and fascinating history.
This landmark book chronicles for the first time the participation of Arizona women in the state’s early politics. Incorporating impressive original research, Winning Their Place traces the roots of the political participation of women from the territorial period to after World War II. Although women in Arizona first entered politics for traditional reasons—to reform society and protect women and children—they quickly realized that male politicians were uninterested in their demands. Most suffrage activists were working professional women, who understood that the work place discriminated against them. In Arizona they won the vote because they demanded rights as working women and aligned with labor unions and third parties that sympathized with their cause. After winning the vote, the victorious suffragists ran for office because they believed men could not and would not represent their interests.
Through this process, these Arizona women became excellent politicians. Unlike women in many other states, women in Arizona quickly carved out a place for themselves in local and state politics, even without the support of the reigning Democratic Party, and challenged men for county office, the state legislature, state office, Congress, and even for governor. This fascinating book reveals how they shattered traditional notions about “a woman’s place” and paved the way for future female politicians, including the “Fab Five” and countless others who have changed the course of Arizona history.
With Blood in Their Eyes
Thomas Cobb University of Arizona Press, 2012 Library of Congress PS3553.O194W58 2012 | Dewey Decimal 813.54
Winner, Spur Award for Best Western Long Novel (Western Writers of America) and Southwest Book Award (Border Regional Library Association)
On February 10, 1918, John Power woke to the sound of bells and horses’ hooves. He was sharing a cabin near the family mine with his brother Tom and their father Jeff; hired man Tom Sisson was also nearby. Then gunfire erupted, and so began the day when the Power brothers engaged the Graham County Sheriff’s Department in the bloodiest shootout in Arizona history.
Now Thomas Cobb, author of Crazy Heart and Shavetail, has taken up the story in this powerful and meticulously researched nonfiction novel. What seems at first a simple tale of crime and pursuit takes on much greater meaning and complexity as the story traces the past lives of the main characters and interconnects them—all leading back to the deadly confrontation that begins the book. Cobb cunningly weaves the story of the Power brothers’ escape with flashbacks of the boys’ father’s life and his struggle to make a living ranching, logging, and mining in the West around the turn of the century. Deftly drawn characters and cleverly concealed motivations work seamlessly to blend a compelling family history with a desperate story of the brothers as they attempt to escape.
Grappling with themes of loyalty, masculinity, technology, and honor, this sweeping saga reveals the passion and brutality of frontier life in Arizona a hundred years ago. Richly authentic and beautifully written, With Blood in Their Eyes breathes dramatic new life into this nearly forgotten episode of the American West.
Muriel Painter's account of Yaqui beliefs and ceremonies is based on her firsthand observations over the course of four decades. By the time Painter died in 1974, she was as familiar with Yaqui culture as on outsider could be and left behind the manuscript from which this volume arose. It was reviewed before the original publication in 1986 by a Yaqui committee and edited for publication by Edward Spicer.