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A History, Revised Edition

Thomas E. Sheridan

Publication Year: 2012

Hailed as a model state history thanks to Thomas E. Sheridan's thoughtful analysis and lively interpretation of the people and events shaping the Grand Canyon State, Arizona has become a standard in the field. Now, just in time for Arizona's centennial, Sheridan has revised and expanded this already top-tier state history to incorporate events and changes that have taken place in recent years. Addressing contemporary issues like land use, water rights, dramatic population increases, suburban sprawl, and the US-Mexico border, the new material makes the book more essential than ever. It successfully places the forty-eighth state's history within the context of national and global events. No other book on Arizona history is as integrative or comprehensive.

From stone spear points more than 10,000 years old to the boom and bust of the housing market in the first decade of this century, Arizona: A History explores the ways in which Native Americans, Hispanics, African Americans, Asians, and Anglos have inhabited and exploited Arizona. Sheridan, a life-long resident of the state, puts forth new ideas about what a history should be, embracing a holistic view of the region and shattering the artificial line between prehistory and history. Other works on Arizona's history focus on government, business, or natural resources, but this is the only book to meld the ethnic and cultural complexities of the state's history into the main flow of the story.

A must read for anyone interested in Arizona's past or present, this extensive revision of the classic work will appeal to students, scholars, and general readers alike.

Published by: University of Arizona Press


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p. 1-1

Title Page, Copyright, Dedication

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pp. 2-7


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pp. vii-8

List of Maps

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pp. viii-9

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pp. ix-xiv

I grew up in Phoenix, a child of the boom in a subdivision carved out of citrus groves just south of the Arizona Canal. Soon after my family moved there in 1955, we began making pilgrimages up the Beeline Highway to a neighbor’s log cabin under the Mogollon Rim. I remember sitting beside my mother on...

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pp. 1-8

This book interprets Arizona’s past by organizing it into three major phases— incorporation, extraction, and transformation—that mark Arizona’s integration into what Immanuel Wallerstein calls the modern world system. Beginning in the fifteenth century, Europe completed its transition from feudalism...

I. Incorporation

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1. The Native Americans

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pp. 11-32

The mammoth was huge, perhaps twelve feet tall at the shoulder. Its forelegs were the forelegs of a behemoth. Its long, curved tusks swept the space in front of it like the antennae of a giant insect frozen in ivory. And even though it fed on grasses, not flesh, one blow from its feet or one swing of its tusks...

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2. The Arrival of the Europeans

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pp. 33-50

Before they learned to read and write in government schools, Akimel O’odham (River People, or Pima Indians) living along the Gila River recorded their history by carving notched symbols into the soft wood of willow or the ribs of the giant saguaro. Caressing these mnemonic marks, Piman keepers of the sticks...

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3. Mexican Arizona and the Anglo Frontier

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pp. 51-66

The year 1826 was a bad one for Mexican Arizona. Five years earlier, Mexico won its independence from Spain after a decade of bloody struggle. The revolution destroyed the colonial silver-mining industry and bankrupted the national treasury. Along the northern frontier, funds that had supported missions...

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4. Early Anglo Settlement and the Beginning of the Indian Wars

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pp. 67-83

Mangas Coloradas (Red Sleeves) was perhaps six feet four inches tall, with a powerful body and an enormous head. Indian agent Edward Wingfield called him “a noble specimen of the genus homo. He comes up nearer the poetic ideal of a chieftain . . . than any person I have ever seen.” Mangas Coloradas...

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5. The Military Conquest of Indian Arizona

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pp. 84-108

General George Crook came to Arizona in 1871, when Vincent Colyer and General O. O. Howard dominated US Indian affairs. Both helped shape President Ulysses S. Grant’s peace policy, which sought to replace armed force with peace negotiations and corrupt Indian agents with agencies run by Protestant...

II . Extraction

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6. The Freighters and the Railroads

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pp. 111-130

In 1875, at a time when many Anglo Americans despised Mexicans as a “race of mongrels,” the citizens of Tucson elected Don Estevan Ochoa mayor of the town by the overwhelming margin of 187 to 40. A native of Chihuahua who had immigrated to the United States in the 1850s, Ochoa was a soft-spoken...

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7. Cattle

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pp. 131-150

When Colin Cameron arrived in Arizona in 1882, he was dressed in an eastern suit and carried a walking stick. He had not grown up in the saddle or cut his teeth fighting Apaches. On the contrary, he was Pennsylvania born and bred, the well-educated son of a railroad magnate and the well-connected nephew...

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8. Silver and Gold

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pp. 151-165

In 1877, Edward Schieffelin drifted into the San Pedro Valley after years of prospecting in the Great Basin and the Pacific Northwest. Because Chiricahua Apaches still inhabited the area, soldiers at Camp Huachuca told Schieffelin that the only thing he would find was his tombstone. “The word lingered in...

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9. Copper

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pp. 166-194

More than any other figure of his era, George Wiley Paul Hunt embodied all the contradictions of Arizona in his walruslike frame. His enemies in the business community sneered at his poor grammar and his uncouth table manners, but Hunt understood Arizona politics better than anyone else in the early...

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10. Oases in the Desert

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pp. 195-210

In 1877, Brigham Young, the visionary president of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, told William Flake to sell everything he owned and take up a mission on the Arizona frontier. With a “sad heart and mental suffering,” Flake gave up the prosperous life he had carved for himself in Utah and...

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11. Water and Cotton

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pp. 211-234

Born in 1877 in the little adobe community of Hayden’s Ferry (renamed Tempe a year later), Carl Hayden grew up on the cusp, watching Arizona change from a frontier to an extractive colony dominated by outside investors. Hayden loved his parents, but he wanted no part of their hard lives. In 1898, ...

III . Transformation

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12. Climate

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pp. 237-256

In the late spring of 1898, a forty-two-year-old art critic from Rutgers University wandered into the Mojave Desert with a horse and a fox terrier for company. He carried a .30-30 rifle for large game and a Chicopee .22-caliber pistol for smaller prey. The rest of his outfit consisted of two light blankets, a shovel...

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13. The Depression and the New Deal

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pp. 257-275

In 1909, Walter Packard, the son of a suffragist and a wealthy Chicago lawyer, came West to work as an extension agent in the Imperial Valley. There, amid the green fields and squalid labor camps, Packard embarked on an intellectual odyssey that was common during the first half of the twentieth century. He started out as a progressive reformer and a protégé of Elwood Mead, who...

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14. World War II and the Postwar Boom

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pp. 276-302

If Horatio Alger had grown up in Arizona, even he would have had a hard time imagining Del Webb. Born in Fresno, California, in 1899, Webb quit school at thirteen to work as a carpenter and play semipro baseball, a passion that would become a business later in life. But after typhoid fever consumed his six-foot-four body and dropped his weight from 204 to 99 pounds, Webb moved to...

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15. The Other Arizona

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pp. 303-336

In 1871 an O’odham war party slipped north of the Salt River and attacked a group of Yavapais below Four Peaks in the Mazatzal Mountains. The Pimas killed most of the adults but took the children captive, including a little boy named Wassaja. They sold him to an Italian photographer named Carlos Gentile...

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16. From the Southwest to the Sunbelt

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pp. 337-373

Before the 1960s the financial world of Arizona was run by local bankers like Frank Brophy, the flamboyant chairman of the board of the Bank of Douglas, and Walter Bimson, the son of a Colorado blacksmith who made the Valley National Bank (VNB) synonymous with Arizona growth. Arizona was a real...

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17. Arizona in the Twenty-First Century

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pp. 374-398

In 2008, just as the nation was about to plunge into the worst recession since the 1930s, two glossy scenarios of urban Arizona in the twenty-first century appeared. One was the Brookings Institution’s Mountain Megas: America’s Newest Metropolitan Places and a Federal Partnership to Help Them Prosper. The...

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18. The Political Ecology of a Desert State

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pp. 399-464

In 1976, Arizona business leaders commissioned Herman Kahn’s Hudson Institute to peer into its crystal ball and divine Arizona’s future. The institute’s report, entitled Arizona Tomorrow, called Arizona “the development prototype for post-industrial society.” During the nineteenth century, many people perceived...


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pp. 465-484

About the Author

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pp. 485-486

The Southwest Center Series

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pp. 502-503

E-ISBN-13: 9780816599547
Print-ISBN-13: 9780816506934

Page Count: 488
Publication Year: 2012