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Thomas E. Sheridan has spent a lifetime in Arizona, "living off it and seeking refuge from it." He knows firsthand its canyons, forests, and deserts; he has seen its cities exploding with new growth; and, like many other people, he sometimes fears for its future.
In this book, Sheridan sets forth new ideas about what a history should be. Arizona: A History explores the ways in which Native Americans, Hispanics, and Anglos have inhabited and exploited Arizona from the pursuit of the Naco mammoth 11,000 years ago to the financial adventurism of Charles Keating and others today. It also examines how perceptions of Arizona have changed, creating new constituencies of tourists, environmentalists, and outside business interests to challenge the dominance of ranchers, mining companies, and farmers who used to control the state. Sheridan emphasizes the crucial role of the federal government in Arizona's development throughout the book.
As Sheridan writes about the past, his eyes are on the inevitable change and compromise of the present and future. He balances the gains and losses as global forces interact more and more with local cultural and environmental factors.
Posted February 9, 2009
This book was a required read for a class I took at Arizona State University. Not a book I would have purchased otherwise. However, it turned out to be a page turner. Very well written and interesting.
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