Western History & Genealogy Blog

New Books

Colorado Author Series: Jim Hall

Book: Parachuting for Gold in Old Mexico

Jim Hall will be speaking about his book Parachuting for Gold in Old Mexico on Saturday, March 12 at 2:00 p.m. at the Schlessman Family Branch Library.

Mr. Hall's book is a memoir of his days as the world's first parachuting mining engineer.

The Dandiest Don

Cover of James W. Johnson's The Dandy Dons.

Earlier this week, Bill Russell, celebrated basketball player, coach, commentator and activist, was honored with the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the highest civilian award presented by the United States. While many might associate Russell with Boston, and his long tenure with the Celtics, his collegiate career and activism began in the West with the University of San Francisco Dons.

Stories about Russell's life and his collegiate career appeared in many newspapers, including

New Books in Western History (2.15.11)

Cover of Douglas Brinkley's The Quiet World

Recent weeks have seen reviews of new works on the preservation of Alaska's wilderness, on the larger circumpolar world of the Arctic, and excerpts from a new book on the urban centers of the Great Basin and a memoir of Western wolf management.

Following on his voluminous work on Theodore Roosevelt, David Brinkley offers the second in his series of conservation histories: The Quiet World: Saving Alaska's Wilderness Kingdom, 1879-1960<

David Taylor's The Line

David Taylor's The Line (44-page accordion booklet accompanying his Working

Sometimes a book isn't just notable for its cover -- it's also a compelling object in itself. So it is with a 44-page accordion booklet entitled The Line accompanying David Taylor's larger photoessay entitled Working the Line.

Taylor's collection of photographs from the U.S.-Mexico border includes the accordion-page supplement, pictured above on one of our low-rise shelves in the Western History/Genealogy Department.

Civil Rights in the American West

Last week Denver Public Library’s David Johnson offered an eloquent reading of the “I Have a Dream” speech, which inspired me to write about the sometimes neglected role of the West in the history of American civil liberties, and, on the eve of the Martin Luther King Jr. holiday, to offer some suggestions from the many recent books on civil rights in the American West.

The struggle for civil liberties was neither confined to the South, nor exclusively to the period of t

Cities, Nature, and the American West ...

On the New West literary blog's current book essay and book preview column, Char Miller of Pomona College offers observations on booms, busts, cities and the legacy of the late UNLV historian Hal Rothman.

Miller's fond remembrance of Rothman and his scholarship tells us much about our current circumstances and the larger boom-and-bust cycles of the West.

New Books in Western History (9.29.10)

Cover of Judy Pasternak's Yellow Dirt
Cover of Mae Ngai's The Lucky Ones
Cover of Jay Jennings' Carry the Rock

New titles of interest examine the Chinese experience in America from the perspective of one family; the perils of uranium on the Navajo reservation; and the long story of segregation through a Little Rock high school football team.

Columbia University historian Mae Ngai's The Lucky Ones: One Family and the Extraordinary Invention of Chinese America saw (largely) favorable reviews in such newspapers as the

New Books: Charlie Chan: The Untold Story of the Honorable Detective ...

Cover of Yunte Huang's Charlie Chan: The Untold Story of the Honorable Detective

Yunte Huang's Charlie Chan: The Untold Story of the Honorable Detective and His Rendezvous with American History has received widespread notice and excellent reviews. But did you know the detective had a real life Hawaiian inspiration?

As Huang explains, Chang Apana, a Hawaiian detective, was an inspiration for the novels of Earl Derr Biggers that later became a series of films.

New Books: Wolf: The Lives of Jack London.

Cover of James L. Haley's Wolf: The Lives of Jack London

James L. Haley's Wolf: The Lives of Jack London arrives at a time of uncertainty, much like the one that shaped the young author.

As Haley himself describes in an essay in the Austin American-Statesman, today's economic

Center for Colorado and the West

The Center for Colorado and the West, established on the Auraria Campus in 2009, has a delightful website which presents content of interest to any student or enthusiast of Colorado's past.

The Center's website offers monthly lists of new publications sure to please students, scholars, and librarians in search of vital new works for their