Synopses & Reviews
As Americans debate what it means to be a multicultural society, one need only turn for lessons to the Southwest, where distinct peoples have coexisted over centuries. Here difference has not only survived but thrived in a melting pot of races and customs.
This book presents a montage of differing perspectives demonstrating that there is no single, definitive description of the Southwest. It brings together a host of writers, from early travelers and historians to contemporary commentators, who explore a region diverse in its people and ecology and show it to be not just a segment of the nation, but rather a border contact zone.
The editors have assembled an interdisciplinary composite, drawing on history, sociology, anthropology, and geography. Fiction, essays, poetry, newspaper articles, and interviews with local inhabitants add a colorful dimension to the coverage. All of the contributions reveal the tremendous impact that everyday occurrences can have and show how life in the Southwest is affected by the interweaving of social, cultural, and ecological forces. Together they demonstrate the role played by personal and cultural memory in creating alternative views of environment, landscape, human social interaction, conquest, dispossession, technological change, and the survival of cultures.
The Multicultural Southwest is a multifaceted work that shows the many ways in which the past continues to affect the present. It will create in readers an awareness of the phenomena that fuel human imagination and creativity as it opens their eyes to the possibilities of the future.
"Looking for rewarding reading? Here's a collection packed with original writing, often from little-combed sources, really good stuff. . . . For a newcomer to the area, perusing the Reader is like taking an excellent course on the Southwest. . . . What makes this collection so valuable is that the editors have managed to include varied pieces that range far and wide, covering anything and everything that might throw light on the subject." Santa Fe New Mexican "The essays, stories, poems, and other writings in this volume are as diverse as the topic. Readers will find new understandings of both traditional and contemporary lives." Utah Historical Quarterly "Spicy and diverse is what we're all about. So's the book." Tucson Weekly
About the Author
A. Gabriel Meléndez is Professor and Chairman of the Department of American Studies at the University of New Mexico. M. Jane Young is Professor of American Studies and Regents Lecturer, both at the University of New Mexico. The Reverend Patricia Moore is affiliated with the Church of the Incarnation in Santa Rosa, California. Patrick Pynes is an environmental consultant at Northern Arizona University.