Cities of Gold: A Journey Across the American Southwest in Pursuit of Coronado

Douglas J. Preston, Author Simon & Schuster $24.5 (0p) ISBN 978-0-671-73759-7
The Old West's last glimmers flicker through this piercingly beautiful adventure, an unforgettable saga in which Preston, astride his horse Popeye, traverses the desert and mountain wilderness of Arizona and New Mexico, retracing the trailblazing 1540-1541 expedition of Spanish explorer Francisco Vasquez de Coronado. Accompanied by a photographer friend, former Natural History columnist Preston (Dinosaurs in the Attic ) talks with Navahos, Zunis, Acomas, ranchers, cowboys, prospectors and rattlesnake hunters. His text shuttles back and forth in time, from the complex prehistoric civilization of the Anasazi Indians to the U.S. war against Apache chief Geronimo, whose followers were deported as prisoners of war to Florida, to the cautionary tale of a once-lush New Mexico valley (larger than Connecticut) reduced to desert by cattle herding and the clear-cutting of timber. In place of the mythical winning of the West, Preston unfolds a harrowing tale of loss. History Book Club alternate. (Nov.)
Reviewed on: 11/02/1992
Release date: 11/01/1992
Genre: Nonfiction
Paperback - 480 pages - 978-0-671-86990-8
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