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Arizona: A History Paperback


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 434 pages
  • Publisher: University of Arizona Press; First Edition edition (February 1, 1995)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0816515158
  • ISBN-13: 978-0816515158
  • Product Dimensions: 9.2 x 6.2 x 0.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.4 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (11 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #745,300 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

"The most modern survey of Arizona history to date." —Journal of the West"He has created the most passionate, multifaceted, modern history of the Grand Canyon state." —Western Historical Quarterly"In this well-written and innovative study, Sheridan (curator at the Arizona State Museum) links the history of a single southwestern state to larger national and international events that have affected its development. . . . Recommended." —Choice"Surely among the panoply of state histories, this one stands among those at the very top. You'll enjoy reading it whether you're an Arizonan or not." —Southwestern Mission Research Center

From the Inside Flap

Thomas E. Sheridan has spent a lifetime in Arizona, "living off it and seeking refuge from it." He knows firsthand its canyons, forests, and deserts; he has seen its cities exploding with new growth; and, like many other people, he sometimes fears for its future.

In this book, Sheridan sets forth new ideas about what a history should be. Arizona: A History explores the ways in which Native Americans, Hispanics, and Anglos have inhabited and exploited Arizona from the pursuit of the Naco mammoth 11,000 years ago to the financial adventurism of Charles Keating and others today. It also examines how perceptions of Arizona have changed, creating new constituencies of tourists, environmentalists, and outside business interests to challenge the dominance of ranchers, mining companies, and farmers who used to control the state. Sheridan emphasizes the crucial role of the federal government in Arizona's development throughout the book.

As Sheridan writes about the past, his eyes are on the inevitable change and compromise of the present and future. He balances the gains and losses as global forces interact more and more with local cultural and environmental factors. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

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Customer Reviews

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I was elated with this book which I'm using for research on a story that I'm writing.
Idaho Writer
If I had to come up with a negative for this book it's that the writing style leans toward being "academic."
John
If one has a casual interest in the history of Arizona then this would be a great book to get.
happycritter

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

41 of 41 people found the following review helpful By John VINE VOICE on September 20, 2000
Format: Paperback
I've read several books on Arizona history and in many ways this is one of the best. I think that there are several things that set this book apart. First, it is very thorough. Each of its 400 plus pages is filled with fact and information. Additionally, it covers some topics in more depth than similar books. For example, this book contains a lot of information about early Hispanic settlers, their history and impact on the state. Other texts seem to focus more on the history of European settlers who came to the state. It also seems that the author spent a lot of time researching this book from original records and documents. He is not just restating information found in other history books. If I had to come up with a negative for this book it's that the writing style leans toward being "academic." If you're looking for a "fun" book on Arizona, full of colorful stories or humorous anecdotes, then this is not the book for you. However, if you really want to learn about the state's history then this book should be part of your collection.
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20 of 21 people found the following review helpful By Michael Hills on September 16, 2002
Format: Paperback
I've lived in Arizona most of my life, and had a good general background understanding of information on earlier times in Arizona. This book really helped to fill in a lot of blanks, and explained things in a very sensible, well-thought-out manner. Starting in pre-historic times, leading into the early Native American migrations and settlements in the Southwest, on to Spanish exploration and colonial days, followed by Mexican and then American ownership of this territory - all of this is well laid out, and well researched and explained.
I would highly recommend this book for any resident of Arizona, anyone interested in early history, and especially for anyone with interest in how we ended up where we are today.
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on June 26, 2007
Format: Paperback
Sheridan makes the history (which I've always found to be boring)of Arizona interesting. His wit in writing keeps my attention. He talks of the people of Arizona like he knew them personally and makes me want to meet them. He gives a thorough review of time from Arizona's earliest known history of the Hohokom peoples, early industries, issues involed with statehood to more recent history including the establishment of national parks and tourism. Sheridan explains how Arizona's politics have been shaped by large industries mainly mining. This in an excellent and enlightening read even if you aren't much interested in history.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Wade on August 21, 2011
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Dr. Sheridan researched his book and provides an essay form bibliography for his references. He notes which references are the best or most complete. He also comments on missing or incomplete data such as the history of copper mining, one of the most important extractive industries in Arizona. When confronting difficult topics, such as racism, or the obvious cases of collusion or massive cooperation between big business and big government, he examines multiple factors and presents information that allows the reader to form his or her own opinion. In the few instances in which he injects his own opinion, he makes it very clear that it is his perspective but does not require the reader to complicitly follow his beliefs. For example, he espouses the Other Arizona viewpoint; one in which small business, rural ranching, and the beauty of the natural desert are what is most important. He does not diminish his treatment of the benefits of city life, but he tempers it with the knowledge that water is not infinite. To feed the cities, the rural areas must sacrifice their water supplies. By the time I reached the end of the final chapter (the book was published in 1995), I wanted more information about the most recent happenings in Arizona. How has the Central Arizona Project (CAP) affected the Indians? Will it provide enough water to sustain Phoenix and Tucson. Have any drought seasons caused problems in which the quota of mandated water to California negatively affected the other users of CAP?
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By hherbert on November 12, 2011
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This is the best single-volume history of Arizona on the market. I use it as the text for my Arizona History Class at Eastern Arizona College and other community college instructors in Arizona also use it. Some have objected to it because it is inclusive and exposes both the best and worst in Arizona history. Sheridan has a widely accepted mega-view of Arizona history and a unique perspective of dividing Arizona history into three processes, incorporation, extraction, and transformation. He calls his theoretical approach "political ecology." When Arizona history is examined within this paradigm new insights and a deeper understanding of both his perspective and the relationships among pivotal historic events occurs. I recommend it as a text and as a means of understanding, appreciating, and contextualizing Arizona history.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Retiredat60 on October 16, 2011
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
We moved to Arizona recently, and I was curious about the history of the State. This author is quite good -- the book isn't a bit boring.
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