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History > U.S. History > Local and Regional > Southwest

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Democratic Renewal and the Mutual Aid Legacy of US Mexicans Cover

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Democratic Renewal and the Mutual Aid Legacy of US Mexicans

Julie Leininger Pycior

The legacy of the historic mutual aid organizing by US Mexicans, with its emphasis on self-help and community solidarity, continues to inform Mexican American activism and subtly influence a number of major US social movements. In Democratic Renewal and the Mutual Aid Legacy of US Mexicans, Julie Leininger Pycior traces the early origins of organizing in the decades following the US-Mexican War, when Mexicans in the Southwest established mutualista associations for their protection. Further, she traces the ways in which these efforts have been invoked by contemporary Latino civil rights leaders.

Pycior notes that the Mexican immigrant associations instrumental in the landmark 2006 immigration reform marches echo mutualista societies at their peak in the 1920s. Then Mexican immigrants from San Diego to New York engaged in economic, medical, cultural, educational, and legal aid. This path-breaking study culminates with an examination of Southwest community organizing networks as crucial counterweights to the outsize role of large financial contributions in the democratic political process. It also finds ways in which this community organizing echoes the activity of mutualista groups in the very same neighborhoods a century ago.

Desert Visions and the Making of Phoenix, 1860-2009 Cover

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Desert Visions and the Making of Phoenix, 1860-2009

Philip VanderMeer

From the beginning, Phoenix sought to grow, and although growth has remained central to the city’s history, its importance, meaning, and value have changed substantially over the years. The initial vision of Phoenix as an American Eden gave way to the Cold War Era vision of a High Tech Suburbia, which in turn gave way to rising concerns in the late twentieth century about the environmental, social, and political costs of growth. To understand how such unusual growth occurred in such an improbable location, Philip VanderMeer explores five major themes: the natural environment, urban infrastructure, economic development, social and cultural values, and public leadership. Through investigating Phoenix’s struggle to become a major American metropolis, his study also offers a unique view of what it means to be a desert city.

Devils River Cover

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Devils River

Treacherous Twin to the Pecos: 1535-1900

Patrick Dearen

Devils River examines the history of this notorious river in southwestern Texas. Dearen describes the Spanish explorers and settlers from the Americas who encountered the river, their difficulties in traversing the region, and relates hardships, ranging from Indian attacks, impassable fords, unpredictable weather, and long routes with little water.  

Documents of the Coronado Expedition, 1539-1542 Cover

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Documents of the Coronado Expedition, 1539-1542

"They Were Not Familiar with His Majesty, nor Did They Wish to Be His Subjects"

Richard Flint

This volume is the first annotated, dual-language edition of thirty-four original documents from the Coronado expedition. Using the latest historical, archaeological, geographical, and linguistic research, historians and paleographers Richard Flint and Shirley Cushing Flint make available accurate transcriptions and modern English translations of the documents, including seven never before published and seven others never before available in English. The volume includes a general introduction and explanatory notes at the beginning of each document.

Dreaming of Sheep in Navajo Country Cover

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Dreaming of Sheep in Navajo Country

by Marsha Weisiger

This fresh interpretation of the history of Navajo (Diné) pastoralism recounts how a dramatic reduction of livestock on the Navajo Reservation in the 1930s, an ambitious attempt by the federal government to eliminate overgrazing on an arid landscape, resulted in a disastrous loss of livelihood for Navajos without significant improvement of the grazing lands.

Eleven Days in Hell Cover

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Eleven Days in Hell

The 1974 Carrasco Prison Siege at Huntsville, Texas

William T. Harper

From one o’clock on the afternoon of July 24, 1974, until shortly before ten o’clock the night of August 3, eleven days later, one of the longest hostage-taking sieges in the history of the United States took place in Texas’s Huntsville State Prison. The ringleader, Federico (Fred) Gomez Carrasco, the former boss of the largest drug-running operation in south Texas, was serving life for assault with intent to commit murder on a police officer. Using his connections to smuggle guns and ammunition into the prison, and employing the aid of two other inmates, he took eleven prison workers and four inmates hostage in the prison library. Demanding bulletproof helmets and vests, he planned to use the hostages as shields for his escape. Negotiations began immediately with prison warden H. H. Husbands and W. J. Estelle, Jr., Director of the Texas Department of Corrections. The Texas Rangers, the Department of Public Safety, and the FBI arrived to assist as the media descended on Huntsville. When one of the hostages suggested a moving structure of chalkboards padded with law books to absorb bullets, Carrasco agreed to the plan. The captors entered their escape pod with four hostages and secured eight others to the moving barricade. While the target was en route to an armored car, Estelle had his team blast it with fire hoses. In a violent end to the standoff, Carrasco committed suicide, one of his two accomplices was killed (the other later executed), and two hostages were killed by their captors.

Enduring Legacy Cover

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Enduring Legacy

The M. D. Anderson Foundation and the Texas Medical Center

William Henry Kellar

At the heart of Houston stands the Texas Medical Center. This dense complex of educational, clinical, and hospital facilities offers state-of-the-art patient care, basic science, and applied research in more than fifty medicine-related institutions. Three medical schools, four schools of nursing, and schools of dentistry, public health, and pharmacology occupy the thousand-acre campus.

But none of this would exist if not for the generosity and vision of Monroe Dunaway Anderson, who, in 1936, established the foundation that bears his name. The M. D. Anderson Foundation ultimately became the driving force behind creating and shaping this leading-edge medical complex into what it is today.

Enduring Legacy: The M. D. Anderson Foundation and the Texas Medical Center provides a unique perspective on the indispensable role the foundation played in the creation of the Texas Medical Center. It also offers a case study of how public and private institutions worked together to create this veritable city of health that has since become the largest medical complex in human history.

Historian William Henry Kellar caps off a decade of research on institutions and characters associated with the Texas Medical Center.  He draws on oral histories, extensive archival work, and a growing secondary literature to provide an absorbing account of this leading institution of modern medicine and the philanthropy that made it possible.

Explorers in Eden Cover

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Explorers in Eden

Pueblo Indians and the Promised Land

Jerold S. Auerbach

Explorers in Eden uncovers an intriguing array of diaries, letters, memoirs, photographs, paintings, postcards, advertisements, anthropological field studies, and scholarly monographs. They reveal how Anglo-Americans disenchanted with modern urban industrial society developed a deep and rich fascination with pueblo culture through their biblical associations.

Exploring the Edges of Texas Cover

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Exploring the Edges of Texas

By Walt Davis and Isabel Davis

In 1955, Frank X. Tolbert, a well-known columnist for the Dallas Morning News, circumnavigated Texas with his nine-year-old-son in a Willis Jeep. The column he phoned in to the newspaper about his adventures, "Tolbert's Texas," was a staple of Walt Davis's childhood. Fifty years later, Walt and his wife, Isabel, have re-explored portions of Tolbert’s trek along the boundaries of Texas. The border of Texas is longer than the Amazon River, running through ten distinct ecological zones as it outlines one of the most familiar shapes in geography. According to the Davises, "Driving its every twist and turn would be like driving from Miami to Los Angeles by way of New York." Each of this book’s sixteen chapters opens with an original drawing by Walt, representing a segment of the Texas border where the authors selected a special place—a national park, a stretch of river, a mountain range, or an archeological site. Using a firsthand account of that place written by a previous visitor (artist, explorer, naturalist, or archeologist), they then identified a contemporary voice (whether biologist, rancher, river-runner, or paleontologist) to serve as a modern-day guide for their journey of rediscovery. This dual perspective allows the authors to attach personal stories to the places they visited, to connect the past with the present, and to compare Texas then with Texas now. Whether retracing botanist Charles Wright's 600-mile walk to El Paso in 1849 or paddling Houston's Buffalo Bayou, where John James Audubon saw ivory-billed woodpeckers in 1837, the Davises seek to remind readers that passionate and determined people wrote the state's natural history. Anyone interested in Texas or its rich natural heritage will find deep enjoyment in Exploring the Edges of Texas.

Faded Glory Cover

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Faded Glory

A Century of Forgotten Texas Military Sites, Then and Now

Thomas E. Alexander and Dan K. Utley

Each of the wars fought by Texans spawned the creation of scores of military sites across the state, from the lonely frontier outpost at Adobe Walls to the once-bustling World War II shipyards of Orange. Today, although vestiges of the sites still exist, many are barely discernible, their once-proud martial trappings now faded by time, neglect, the elements and, most of all, public apathy. ?In Faded Glory: A Century of Forgotten Texas Military Sites, Then and Now, Thomas E. Alexander and Dan K. Utley revisit twenty-nine sites—many of them largely forgotten—associated with what was arguably the most tumultuous hundred-year period in a five-century span of Texas history.? Whether in the war with Mexico, the American Civil War, in clashes between Indians and the frontier army, or in two worldwide conflicts fought on foreign shores, Texas and Texans have often answered the call to arms. Beginning in 1845 and continuing through 1945, the Lone Star State and its people were fully involved in seven major conflicts. ?In this thoroughly researched and absorbing guide, Alexander and Utley recount the full story of the sites from their days of fame to the present. Comparing historic sketches, paintings, and period photographs of the original installations with recent photographs, they illustrate how time has dealt with these important places. Providing maps to aid readers in locating each site, the authors close with a resounding call for preservation and interpretation for future generations. ?The descriptions and images restore, at least in the mind’s eye, a touch of vitality and color to these forgotten and disappearing sites. Thanks to Faded Glory: A Century of Forgotten Texas Military Sites, Then and Now, both the traveler and the armchair tourist can recover a sense of these places and events that did so much to shape the military history of Texas.

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