The Southwest is a land of stunning scenery and startling contrast, a dry and sunswept region of deep canyons, jagged mountains, and blistering deserts. It contains more national parks and monuments than any other area of the United States, a measure of its extraordinary beauty and extraordinary efforts to preserve it. But the story behind the scenery is as unique and compelling as the scenery itself. Three great cultures meet in this majestic landscape - Indian, Hispanic and Anglo - and their history is etched into the earth with a clarity that is possible only in a dry and relatively untouched land where a set of wagon tracks may last one hundred years and an adobe village may last a thousand. The Southwest is a chronological history told with a strong sense of the land from the voices of the people who lived on that land. Walker uses first-person eyewitness accounts to bring the experiences of the past into focus, writing not only as a historian examining archival sources but also as an author who has seed the sites that figure in those sources.
He writes, "There is a magic in the land and the air and the mix of cultures, a magic that imbues the American Southwest with a special quality all its own. This book will capture that magic for our readers." A broad, ambitious historical survey, The Southwest includes chapters on the ancient Pueblo and Hopi cultures, the Spanish invaders and their missions, the story of the Santa Fe trail, the Mexican War and Manifest Destiny, the gold rush, the Indian wars, cowboys and gunslingers, and the New Southwest and the pressures the region faces from growth and scarcity of resources. Illustrated with contemporary photographs of awe-inspiring landscapes from Colorado and Texas to Arizona, New Mexico, and California taken by acclaimed photographer George H. H. Huey The Southwest is an irresistible visual treat that conveys the beauty and grandeur of the history and landscape it describes.