Southwest
Arizona's War Town: Flagstaff, Navajo Ordnance Depot, and World War II
Arizona's War Town
Flagstaff, Navajo Ordnance Depot, and World War II
Paperback      ISBN: 0816524157
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 linchpin in the war effort marked a turning point in Flagstaff's history. One of only sixteen munitions depots built between 1941 and 1943, the Navajo Ordnance Depot contributed significantly to the city's rapid growth during the war years as it brought considerable social, cultural, and economic change to the region.

A clearing in the ponderosa pine forest called Volunteer Prairie met the military's criteria for a munitions depot--open terrain, a cool climate, plentiful water, and proximity to a railroad--and it was also sufficiently inland to be safe from the threat of coastal invasion. Constructing a depot of 800 ammunition bunkers, each the size of a 2,000-square-foot home, called for a force of 8,000 laborers, and Flagstaff became a boom town overnight as construction workers and their families poured in from nearby Indian reservations and as far away as the Midwest and South. More than 2,000 were retained as permanent employees--a larger workforce than Flagstaff's total pre-war employment roster.

As Westerlund's portrait of wartime Flagstaff shows, prosperity brought unanticipated consequences: racism simmered beneath the surface of the town as ethnic groups were thrown together for the first time; merchants called a city-wide strike to protest emerging union activity; juvenile delinquency rose dramatically; Flagstaff women entered the workforce in unprecedented numbers, altering local mores along with their own plans for the future; meanwhile, hundreds of sailors and marines arrived at Arizona State Teachers College to participate in the Navy's V-12 program. Whether recounting the difficulty of 3,500 Navajo and Hopi employees adjusting to life off the reservation or the complaints of townspeople that Austrian POWs-transferred to the depot to ease the labor shortage-were treated too well, Westerlund shows that the construction and maintenance of the facility was far more than a military matter.

Navajo Ordnance Depot remained operational to support wars in Korea, Vietnam, and the Persian Gulf, and today Camp Navajo provides storage for thousands of deactivated ICBM motors. But in recounting its early days, Westerlund has skillfully blended social and military history to vividly portray not only a city's transitional years but also the impact of military expansion on economic and community development in the American West.

Around San Antonio
Around San Antonio
Paperback      ISBN: 0738503118

Around San Antonio provides readers with an incisive history, not only of the city itself its missions, festive traditions, schools, military bases but also of the surrounding Hill Country and ranches. Covering a time span from the early 1900s to the 1960s, this book provides a concise background of local folklore and traditions to visitors and other interested persons who wish to gain a deeper insight and appreciation of San Antonio and the surrounding area."

Around Terlingua
Around Terlingua
Paperback      ISBN: 1467132012

The origin of the name "Terlingua" is obscure and lost in time. For the past century and a half, the area covered by the name has expanded to include numerous concentrations of people engaged to varying degrees in ranching, farming, and mining, or the support thereof. Farmers and ranchers produced agricultural products, woodcutters supplied timbers for the mines or fuel for the furnaces, and storekeepers supplied the goods needed for sustenance of this diverse community that was spread over much of south Brewster County in West Texas. Hispanic people who began settling the region in the 18th century were the backbone of the mining industry. Many of the families here today are descendants of the mine workers and continue contributing to the community. This story tells of the establishment and abandonment of Terlingua following the rise and decline in demand for mercury and how the ghost town was resurrected in the 20th century.

Arredondo: Last Spanish Ruler of Texas and Northeastern New Spain
Arredondo
Last Spanish Ruler of Texas and Northeastern New Spain
Hardcover      ISBN: 080615697x

In this biography of Joaqu n de Arredondo, historian Bradley Folsom brings to life one of the most influential and ruthless leaders in North American history. Arredondo (1776-1837), a Bourbon loyalist who governed Texas and the other interior provinces of northeastern New Spain during the Mexican War of Independence, contended with attacks by revolutionaries, U.S. citizens, generals who had served in Napoleon's army, pirates, and various American Indian groups, all attempting to wrest control of the region. Often resorting to violence to deal with the provinces' problems, Arredondo was for ten years the most powerful official in northeastern New Spain.

Folsom's lively account shows the challenges of governing a vast and inhospitable region and provides insight into nineteenth-century military tactics and Spanish viceregal realpolitik. When Arredondo and his army--which included Arredondo's prot g , future president of Mexico Antonio L pez de Santa Anna--arrived in Nuevo Santander in 1811, they quickly suppressed a revolutionary upheaval. Arredondo went on to expel an army of revolutionaries and invaders from the United States who had taken over Texas and declared it an independent republic. In the Battle of Medina, the bloodiest battle ever fought in Texas, he crushed the insurgents and followed his victory with a purge that reduced Texas's population by half. Over the following eight years, Arredondo faced fresh challenges to Spanish sovereignty ranging from Comanche and Apache raids to continued American incursion. In response, Arredondo ignored his superiors and ordered his soldiers to terrorize those who disagreed with him.

Arredondo's actions had dramatic repercussions in Texas, Mexico, and the United States. His decision to allow Moses Austin to colonize Texas with Americans would culminate in the defeat of Santa Anna in 1836, but not before Santa Anna had made good use of the lessons in brutality he had learned so well from his mentor.
As a Farm Woman Thinks: Life and Land on the Texas High Plains, 1890-1960
As a Farm Woman Thinks
Life and Land on the Texas High Plains, 1890-1960
Hardcover      ISBN: 0896727106

In twenty-five years of syndicated columns in small-town Texas newspapers between 1930 and 1960, Nellie Witt Spikes described her life on the High Plains, harking back to earlier times and reminiscing about pioneer settlement, farm and small-town culture, women's work, and the natural history of the flatlands and canyons. Spikes's life spanned the arrival of Euro-American settlers, the transition from ranching to farming, the drought and dust storms of the 1930s, and the irrigation revolution of the 1940s. Engaging and eloquent, her "As a Farm Woman Thinks" columns today conjure up a vivid portrait of a bygone era. Spikes's best pieces, organized topically and then chronologically here by Geoff Cunfer, are illuminated by black-and-white historical photographs featuring people, landscapes, small towns, farms, and ranches that populated the caprock-and-canyon country of her West Texas. Cunfer's introduction and editorial commentary provide context. For historians, As a Farm Woman Thinks enlarges our understanding of a wide land and its culture. For the rest of us, Spikes's "poetry of place" still captures the spirit of the Plains and, decades later, inspires imagination and memory.

Austin Breakfast Tacos: The Story of the Most Important Taco of the Day
Austin Breakfast Tacos
The Story of the Most Important Taco of the Day
Paperback      ISBN: 1626190496

Fresh tortillas, fluffy huevos con bacon and spicy salsa--good morning, Austin. Or good afternoon, evening, night--whenever From taco tailgates to taquerias, there is a taco for every occasion and persuasion. Some say that it was born in the days of cowboys and vaqueros, and others say it was a creation of the Tex-Mex culture, but one thing is certain: the breakfast taco has taken over the Capital City. From South Congress to North Austin, neon and chalkboard signs tempt hungry passersby with their best morning-time handheld bites. With over forty breakfast taco recipes, Mando Rayo and Jarod Neece investigate (and masticate) the history, culture and traditions of that indelible and delectable Austin treat: the breakfast taco..

The Austin Dam Disaster of 1900
The Austin Dam Disaster of 1900
Paperback      ISBN: 1467127450

The Austin Dam Disaster of 1900 recreates the era of Gay Nineties Austin, then--as now--a city on the rise and on the make. In 1891, at the behest of ambitious city fathers, the little city of just 15,000 people gambled its future on a project of breathtaking size--a massive hydroelectric dam across the Colorado River. This book follows the epic construction project and the brief golden era of the pleasure resort at Lake McDonald. Though troubled and controversial from the get-go, the dam embodied all of Austin's dreams. Then, on Friday, April 6, 1900, it began to rain . . .

Austin in the Jazz Age
Austin in the Jazz Age
Paperback      ISBN: 1626199183

Though renowned, Austin's contemporary music scene pales in comparison with the explosion of creative talent the city spawned during the Jazz Age. Dozens of musicians who started out in the capital city attained national and international fame--but music was just one form of artistic expression that marked that time of upheaval. World War I's death and destruction bred a vehement rejection of the status quo. In its place, an enthusiastic adherence to life lived without question or consequence took root. The sentiment found fertile soil in Austin, with the University of Texas at the epicenter. Students indulged in the debauchery that typified the era, scandalizing Austin and Texas at large as they introduced a freewheeling, individualistic attitude that now defines the city. Join author Richard Zelade in a raucous investigation of the day and its most outstanding and outlandish characters.

Austin Murder & Mayhem
Austin Murder & Mayhem
Paperback      ISBN: 1626199175

Beneath Austin's shiny veneer lies a dark past, filled with murder, lechery and deceit. Legislators, lawmen and lawyers killed, robbed and lied just as well and just as often as the drifters and grifters preying on newcomers. The nation's first known serial killer made his debut in Austin in the form of the Servant Girl Annihilator, who is still rumored to be Jack the Ripper. After the Willis brothers murdered their neighbors over rumored buried gold, a lynch mob hanged the boys from live oaks on present-day Sixth Street. Freshman representative Louis Franke died after he was robbed and beaten on the steps of the statehouse. Author Richard Zelade delivers a fascinating look at the seedier side of Austin history.

Austin's First Cookbook: Our Home Recipes, Remedies and Rules of Thumb
Austin's First Cookbook
Our Home Recipes, Remedies and Rules of Thumb
Paperback      ISBN: 1626198535

Tacos and barbecue command appetites today, but early Austinites indulged in peppered mangoes, roast partridge and cucumber catsup. Those are just a few of the fascinating historic recipes in this new edition of the first cookbook published in the city. Written by the Cumberland Presbyterian Church in 1891, Our Home Cookbook aimed to "cause frowns to dispel and dimple into ripples of laughter" with myriad "receipts" from the early Austin community. From dandy pudding to home remedies "worth knowing," these are hearty helpings featuring local game and diverse heritage, including German, Czech and Mexican. With informative essays and a cookbook bibliography, city archivist Mike Miller and the Austin History Center present this curious collection that's sure to raise eyebrows, if not cravings.