Legends of the American Desert: Sojourns in the Greater Southwest

Alex Shoumatoff, Author Alfred A. Knopf $30 (544p) ISBN 978-0-394-56915-4
Shoumatoff (The World Is Burning) set himself to write a ""sweeping hydrohistory"" of the Southwest--""the least American part of the United States""--but as the project expanded so did his focus, and it then became his intention to write of his own relationship with the region in a book that would be ""the next Ulysses."" Though falling short of that, he has nonetheless produced a rich biography of the area. The book is the extended monologue of a scholar, adventurer and seeker enamored of and intimately knowledgeable about the indigenous cultures of the Southwest; the overlay of Latino culture; a study of the flora and fauna; the dominating need for water that has influenced custom and politics; the pollution of that water and the land by mining interests--all of which are played against the author's own encounters with the Southwest at different periods of his life. His explorations take him from Mexico, along the route of the conquistadors to California, Arizona and New Mexico to the settlements of the ancient Anasazi, Hopi, Navajo and Apaches, and builds friendships with their descendants--the ""billboard culture"" of Anglo-Albuquerque--whose culture is idealized by alternative lifestylers. Though it falls short of Shoumatoff's stated ambitions, the book is an enchanting melange of portraits of the extraordinary region and people of the Southwest. (Aug.)
Reviewed on: 09/01/1997
Release date: 09/01/1997
Show other formats
FORMATS
Paperback - 544 pages - 978-0-06-097769-6
Open Ebook - 978-0-307-83181-1
X
Stay ahead with
Tip Sheet!
Free newsletter: the hottest new books, features and more
X
Only $18.95/month for Digital Access
or $20.95 for Print+Digital Access!
X
Only $18.95/month for Digital Access
or $20.95 for Print+Digital Access!
X
Email Address

Password

Log In Lost Password

PW has integrated its print and digital subscriptions, offering exciting new benefits to subscribers, who are now entitled to both the print edition and the digital editions of PW (online or via our app). For instructions on how to set up your accout for digital access, click here. For more information, click here.

The part of the site you are trying to access is now available to subscribers only. Subscribers: to set up your digital subscription with the new system (if you have not done so already), click here. To subscribe, click here.

Email pw@pubservice.com with questions.

Not Registered? Click here.