Los Alamos

Los Alamos


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Twenty-five years before the Manhattan Project created the town of Los Alamos, the Pajarito Plateau was home to an elite prep school for boys, ages twelve to eighteen. The Los Alamos Ranch School combined a robust outdoor life and a carefully cultivated wilderness experience with a rigorous academic program and the structured discipline of a Boy Scout troop, perfectly mirroring the Progressive Era's quest for perfection.

John Wirth's father, Cecil, taught at the school and directed its summer camp. John spent his early childhood at the school along with his brother Tim, later a U.S. Senator from Colorado. Drawing on oral accounts, memoirs, and archival documents, as well as John's firsthand knowledge and family lore, the authors situate the school within the educational trends of the day and New Mexico's cultural milieu.

Wirth and Aldrich examine the influence of the school's controversial director, Albert J. Connell, who was roundly disliked by two of the best-known students, Gore Vidal and William S. Burroughs. Many other students reported their time at the school to be a profoundly positive, often life-changing, experience. Additional chapters recount the growing-up experiences of ranch workers' children and the role the school played in their lives and those of area residents.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780826328847
Publisher: University of New Mexico Press
Publication date: 08/01/2010
Pages: 354
Product dimensions: 6.10(w) x 9.10(h) x 0.90(d)

About the Author

The late John D. Wirth was a Latin America scholar and professor emeritus of history at Stanford University. He made his home in Santa Fe.

Linda Harvey Aldrich is a long-time resident of Los Alamos and former archivist at the Los Alamos Historical Museum.

Table of Contents

Los Alamos, by Edward Hall
Part I
The Los Alamos Ranch School
Pathways to Pajarito: A Prologue
Chapter 1. A School with Nature as a Textbook: Beginnings
Chapter 2. Everything for a Reason: The Los Alamos Program
Chapter 3. Everyone Must do His Part: The Community
Chapter 4. An Inspired Partnership: The Leadership
Chapter 5. We Ride, We Ride! The Los Alamos Summer Camp
Color Photos
Chapter 6. A War Casualty: The Closing of Los Alamos
Center Section B/W Photos
Part II
Families at Los Alamos Ranch
Chapter 7. Los Ricachones: Hispanic Families at Los Alamos, by Theresa Strottman
Chapter 8. It was a Good Time and Place to be a Boy, by Richard Womelsduff
Chapter 9. Remembering the Ranch, by John D. Wirth
Chapter 10. A Sense of Place: Conclusion
a. Salute to Hitchcock
b. School Song
c. Horses in the Ranch School Inventory, 1942
d. Biographies of Los Alamos Masters

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