Jul 3, 201211:56 AMThe Telegraph
The Premier Blog of the West
Western Words: July 3, 2012
Texas: A Historical Atlas, by Ray Stephens (author) and Carol Zuber-Mallison (cartographer)
The atlas has been rendered nearly obsolete by MapQuest and other online means of exploring the world. But Texas has its own unique atlas that is far more than a collection of colorful maps.
After 20 years of helping tourists, natives and students get better acquainted with the Lone Star State, the Historical Atlas of Texas has been updated and expanded under a new title. Texas: A Historical Atlas features more than 80 articles and 175 maps that explore every aspect of the state’s history, geography, and culture.
Entries include the routes taken by Spanish explorers into the state (dating back to 1519!), cattle trails, railroads, native plant regions, the history of Texas-Oklahoma border disputes, and how rural communities evolved into urban centers. If you need to know where you’ve been to figure out where you’re going, this is a book to help today’s Texans blaze their trail.
Yes, the title is very long and somewhat intimidating. But anyone interested in Native American history will learn much from this fresh look at the Pueblo Revolt of 1680. Nearly 100 years before the Declaration of Independence, The Pueblos battled the Spaniards, who would reclaim the territory in 1692. What happened in the 12 years between the uprising and the re-conquest is usually ignored in textbooks, and that is where Revolt fills in the gap. Author Matthew Liebmann examines Pueblo culture and society during this intermission of autonomy, relying primarily on archaeological evidence found at four Pueblo sites that still survive in the Jemez province of New Mexico.
Hot Spots Guidebook: Great Places to Watch Trains, by Trains magazine
The railroad played a pivotal role in America’s westward expansion, and inspired an iron-horse fascination that still thrives. For modern train-spotters, this book offers information on more than 100 great train-watching locations in America. You’ll find maps, photos, directions, and information about other points of interest after the last train of each day has rolled by.
Rebecca Norris Webb: My Dakota, by Rebecca Norris Webb
There’s more going on in this book than a collection of stunning images. Rebecca Norris Webb set out to play tribute in photos to her native South Dakota, but along the way she unexpectedly lost her brother to a heart attack. That changed the focus on her camera and her life, as the wide open Dakota spaces now brought solace as well as pride. As Webb writes, “It’s taken me much of life to understand and accept that my images are wiser than I am. It often takes me weeks and sometimes months to understand what they are trying to say to me.”
Walt Disney's Mickey Mouse: "High Noon at Inferno Gulch" (Vol. 3), by Floyd Gottfredson (author)
Long before he was a corporate icon, Mickey Mouse was a comic strip character whose adventures were enjoyed by thousands in their daily newspaper. He was also a lot feistier than he is now that his image presides over a billion-dollar empire.
In this third collection of Mickey Mouse strips, Mickey travels to Texas for western-themed adventures with bandits, rustlers and the evil miser Eli Squinch. Each strip was meticulously restored from Disney’s original proof sheets, and comic historians will swoon over the book’s 50 pages of supplementary features, including commentaries from Disney scholars and vintage publicity material.
Or, just buy it for kids, who won’t care that their grandfather first read these strips 70 years ago. The stories and art are just as engaging now thanks to the talents of Floyd Gottfredson, who was originally hired on the strip as a short-term replacement, and stayed for the next 45 years.
-- For more recent book releases, check out last week's Western Words post.