First Impressions A Reader’s Journey to Iconic Places of the American Southwest David J. Weber, William deBuys

The Lamar Series in Western History
Publication date:
03 Oct 2017
Yale University Press
368 pages: 235 x 156 x 25mm
12 color + 52 b-w illus.
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A guide to the history and culture of the American Southwest, as told through early encounters with fifteen iconic sites

This unique guide for literate travelers in the American Southwest tells the story of fifteen iconic sites across Arizona, New Mexico, southern Utah, and southern Colorado through the eyes of the explorers, missionaries, and travelers who were the first non-natives to describe them. Noted borderlands historians David J. Weber and William deBuys lead readers through centuries of political, cultural, and ecological change.
The sites visited in this volume range from popular destinations within the National Park System—including Carlsbad Caverns, the Grand Canyon, and Mesa Verde—to the Spanish colonial towns of Santa Fe and Taos and the living Indian communities of Acoma, Zuni, and Taos. Lovers of the Southwest, residents and visitors alike, will delight in the authors’ skillful evocation of the region’s sweeping landscapes, its rich Hispanic and Indian heritage, and the sense of discovery that so enchanted its early explorers.

Published in Cooperation with the William P. Clements Center for Southwest Studies, Southern Methodist University

David J. Weber (1940–2010) was founding director of the Clements Center for Southwest Studies at Southern Methodist University. William deBuys’s numerous books include River of Traps, a Pulitzer Prize nonfiction finalist.

Winner of the Outstanding Academic Title for 2018 award sponsored by Choice

First Impressions is a rediscovery of the Southwest told through the moments of incomprehension and wonder when cultures met and sometimes collided. It is a gift for historically amnesiac America.”—Bill Hedden, Grand Canyon Trust

“A delightful introduction to the iconic ‘American Southwest,’ expertly written and solidly researched.”—Thomas E. Sheridan, author of Arizona: A History, Revised Edition

"From Acoma to Zuni, First Impressions takes us on a journey of mystery, stark beauty, and brutality through the eyes and voices of the first chroniclers of the Southwest. A must-read if you love our part of the country."—Tom Udall, U.S. Senator

“A first-rate introduction to the history and culture of the American Southwest, from two of the most important historians and elegant writers of the Southwest Borderlands.”—Marsha Weisiger, University of Oregon

"I would happily follow Bill deBuys anywhere."—Terry Tempest Williams, author of The Hour of Land: A Personal Topography of America's National Parks