Synopses & Reviews
In 1962, New Mexico had achieved half a century of statehood and 422 years of
association with people of European heritage. It thus shares with Arizona and Florida, also first touched by the Spaniards, the honor of being the oldest region, historically, in the present continental United States.
New Mexico exhibits three cultures, in unique contrast and blending Indian, Spanish, and Anglo-American. Here the Indians of Hawikuh the first Zuñi pueblo encountered by Coronado's soldiers gave battle to the white man in 1540. Here also Indians last stood against federal troops in
1913. A rich and colorful Spanish tradition, combining the institutions of family, church, social organization, and language, continues strong a century and a quarter after the acquisition of the territory by the United States. Here also the Anglo-Americans have made their mark upon the land, with public works, highways, fast-developing towns and cities, and, not least of all, the vast expansion of atomic power.
Although New Mexico has attracted many of the country's most gifted historians, archaeologists, and creative writers, it has needed a one-volume history, tracing the evolution of the region from earliest times to the present. The task, with all of its complexities, has been assumed and happily discharged by Warren A. Beck, whose commitment to New Mexico history derives from an extended teaching career there and a lifetime of research.