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The story of Pyramid Lake and the people who have cared for it, those who nearly destroyed it, and the many who visited without knowing there was a conflict. Mergen grew up in Reno and visited the lake frequently in childhood. The narrative of Pyramid Lake is much more than Indians and water wars. It is the story of railroads on the Reservation and the role of federal, state, and private organizations interested in sport fishing. It is about scientists, artists, and tourists who were captivated by the lake’s beauty. It is about a place celebrated in poetry, literature, and film. Finally it is also a story of the lake as a place of spiritual renewal, celebration, and recreation. It is a multi-faceted and continuing story.
Judge Benjamin Barr Lindsey's exposé of big business's influence on Colorado and Denver politics caused a sensation when serialized in Everybody's Magazine 1909-1910. When published as a book later in 1910, The Beast was considered every bit the equal of Upton Sinclair's The Jungle. Now back in print, the book reveals the plight of working-class Denver citizens - in particular, those Denver youths who ended up in Lindsey's court day after day. These encounters led him to create Denver's Juvenile Court, one of the first courts in the country set up to deal specifically with young delinquents. In addition, Lindsey exposes the darker sides of many well-known figures in Colorado history, including Mayor Robert W. Speer, industrialist and Senator Simon Guggenheim, and Denver tramway czar William Gray Evans. More than just a fascinating slice of Denver history, this book - and Lindsey's court - inspired widespread social change in the United States.
Stories of Culture and Identity in the Cowboy State
In the Cowboy State (also known as Wyoming), the Wild West has never died. The West has long been the favored repository of the East’s cultural fantasies, and in the late nineteenth and twentieth centuries, Eastern expectations and demands largely shaped Wyoming's image in this role. Becoming Western shows how the myth of the “American West” has acted as a force both in history and in individual lives.
Liza J. Nicholas interrogates the creation of Western lore by looking at five stories that focus on, respectively, Jack Flagg, a Wyoming legend and the supposed model for Owen Wister’s Virginian; an equestrian statue of Buffalo Bill sculpted by Gertrude Vanderbilt Whitney; the dude ranch; the creation of the American studies program at Yale; and a campaign for the U.S. Senate. Each story reveals the ways in which the East consciously imagined and manipulated the West and how Wyomingites in turn interpreted this identity, manipulated it, and put it to work for themselves. Becoming Western is a fascinating study of how invented traditions can become potent cultural and political ideology on a local as well as a national level.
An Ethnohistory of the Utah Paiutes
Ronald Holt recounts the survival of a people against all odds. A compound of rapid white settlement of the most productive Southern Paiute homelands, especially their farmlands near tributaries of the Colorado River; conversion by and labor for the Mormon settlers; and government neglect placed the Utah Paiutes in a state of dependency that ironically culminated in the 1957 termination of their status as federally recognized Indians. That recognition and attendant services were not restored until 1980, in an act that revived the Paiutes’ identity, self-government, land ownership, and sense of possibility.
With a foreword by Lora Tom, chair of the Paiute Indian Tribe of Utah.
The Jewish Role in Reshaping the Racial Landscape of Southern California
This volume focuses on the special role that Jews played in reshaping the racial landscape of southern California in the twentieth century. Rather than considering this issue in terms of broad analyses of organizations or communities, each contribution instead approaches it by examining the activity of a single Jewish individual, and how he or she navigated the social terrain of a changing southern California. In particular, this volume is one of the first to take seriously the unique racial/ethnic makeup of southern California for Jewish activism, with a particular focus on the relationship between Jews and Mexican Americans in the area around Los Angeles. The Jewish individuals who are this volume’s subjects represent a wide spectrum of backgrounds and perspectives, ranging from an elected official to an activist lawyer, and from a local businessman to a Democratic Party organizer. The volume culminates with an interview with one of the most beloved of local university rabbis, who has been operating in the ever-changing environment of higher education in Los Angeles over the past thirty years. While its overall message is one of optimism, the volume does not shy away from taking on some of the more vexed issues in the scholarship of racial/ethnic interaction. While Jewish activism in shaping local civil rights is thoroughly discussed, the specific and unequal dynamics of power within the civil rights community is also analyzed. The changing relationship of Jews to “whiteness” in southern California during the late twentieth century, in both geographic and political terms, shapes many of these ongoing relationships. Finally, the volume provides a unique historical perspective on our understanding of contemporary Los Angeles in all its ethnic complexity, and specifically in thinking through the future of Jewish role in urban southern California.
Jesse Unruh and the Art of Power Politics
Revealing and frank, this highly engaging biography tells the story of an American original, California's Big Daddy, Jesse Unruh (1922-1987), a charismatic man whose power reached far beyond the offices he held. Unruh, who was born into Texas sharecropper poverty, became a larger-than-life figure and a principal architect and builder of modern California—first as an assemblyman, then as assembly speaker, and finally, as state treasurer. He was also a great character: a combination of intelligence, wit, idealism, cynicism, woman-chasing vulgarity, charm, drunken excess, and political skill all wrapped up in one big package. He dominated the California capitol and extended his influence to Washington and Wall Street. He was close to Lyndon Johnson and the Kennedys, but closest to Robert Kennedy, and was in the Ambassador Hotel kitchen when Kennedy was shot. Bill Boyarsky gives a close-up look at this extraordinary political leader, a man who believed that politics was the art of the possible, and his era.