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1o8Southwestern Historical QuarterlyJuly an antidote to Western civilization, but the precise religious imagery is subsumed beneath other imagery. This is not a fatal flaw by any means. Indeed, Explorers in Eden is an extremely satisfying look at how non-Indians imposed their hopes and dreams upon an ever-changing people. Those looking for the voices and agency of the Pueblo people themselves, should, however, look elsewhere. University ofTexas at El PasoJeffrey P. Shepherd Scientists and Storytellers: Feminist Anthropologists and the Construction ofthe American Southwest. By CatherineJ. Lavender. (Albuquerque: University of New Mexico Press, 2006. Pp. 256. Acknowledgments, notes, bibliography, index. ISBN 0826338682. $34.95, cloth.) On the surface, this is a book about the American Southwest and how the romanticized version of it that exists in the minds ofAmericans living outside the Southwest came to exist. I know firsthand how powerful that construction was and still is. It was this vision that drew me into my first archaeological field school in northern Arizona thirty years ago. However, below the surface, this book is a biographically oriented case study on how anthropology developed as a discipline in its early days. Each of the four female anthropologists (Elsie Clews Parsons, Ruth Benedict, Ruth Underhill, and Gladys Reichard) examined in this book began her career in New York City and was deeply influenced by Franz Boas and his other students. More important, though, were their interaction with each other, and their other personal relationships. Catherine Lavender takes the reader through each of their biographies to help understand the feminist anthropologists who participated in the construction of the American Southwest. Throughout the Southwest, there are legendary stories of iconoclastic women —the Georgia O'Keefes—whose impacts were felt locally and beyond and who became a part of the fabric of the construction of the Southwest. However, most research does litde to understand the females who studied Native Americans ofthe Southwest and what impact they had on our vision of the region. Lavender focuses clearly and insightfully on these individuals. The four subjects were chosen to illustrate the diversity among their backgrounds and how that diversity played out throughout their lives and careers. The author also highlights how each generation of anthropologists in the Southwest brought newfacets ofunderstanding—and misunderstanding—into their research. These female anthropologists seem to have striven to create models for feminism but also became models themselves. This volume is not a propagandizing whitewash of the complexity of these women's lives. Lavender understands that their professional shortcomings are as important as their accomplishments. While she does not dwell on the nature of some relationships, such as Benedict's relationship with Margaret Mead, Lavender does acknowledge its importance to Benedict's work. This complex volume goes beyond feminist literature, beyond anthropology , and beyond a regional study. By merging each of these themes, Lavender 2007Book Reviews109 has accomplished a great deal and provides understanding to all of them. The anthropological and regional context of feminism makes for insightful reading for a broad audience. Congratulations to Catherine Lavender for a fine piece of scholarship and writing. Maya Research Program, Fort WorthThomas H. Guderjan Larger Than Life: New Mexico in the Twentieth Century. By Ferenc M. Szasz. (Albuquerque : University of New Mexico Press, 2006. Pp. 316. Acknowledgments, illustrations, afterword, notes, index. ISBN 0826338836. $22.95, paper.) Ferenc Szasz's previous ten books have established him as a respected historian of the Atomic West and of religion in the West. With Larger Than Life, Szasz has again brought his lively writing to bear on an interesting subject in an innovative way. This book on the history of New Mexico in the twentieth century is split into four sections: People, Cultures, Atomic New Mexico, and Mysteries. Each section covers topics that at times can surprise one with details about unknown events or people and at other times brings new insight to often told stories. Despite whether a particular topic is well known or not, Larger Than Life expands the history of the Land of Enchantment beyond the boundaries of the state and illustrates how national and even international events and people have impacted New Mexico and conversely, how New Mexico has played an important role nationally and...

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Additional Information

ISSN
1558-9560
Print ISSN
0038-478X
Pages
pp. 108-109
Launched on MUSE
2011-07-06
Open Access
No
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