Etter's picks for Southwest books of the year

December 22, 2011

She’s done it again. Patricia Etter, professor emeritus, Labriola Center at Arizona State University, has come up with another great list of the year’s best books about the Southwest.

This year, four books made the cut as Etter’s recommendations for “Southwest Books of the Year 2011” – books about an early expedition, a look at the Santa Fe Trail, one on wildlife, and another on wild horses of the Southwest. Download Full Image

Etter, one of six members of the Southwest Books of the Year panel sponsored by the Pima County Public Library, has been making her picks for the past 10 years.

Panel members start with a field of 212 titles, and each chooses up to six favorite books. Books selected by ore than one of the reviewers become “Top Picks.”

Books considered for inclusion in Southwest Books of the Year must be set in the Southwest, or deal with a Southwestern subject.

Etter’s picks for 2011 are:

• “In Search of Dominguez and Escalante: Photographing the 1776 Expedition Through the Southwest,” by Greg MacGregor and Siegfried Halus.

Synopsis: What would Francisco Dominguez and Silvestre Escalante think today if they saw a coal delivery train chug by their old campsite at the Utah-Colorado border, the pleasure boats on Lake Powell, a field of wind turbines or an auto traveling to Second Mesa on a paved road? Using Escalante’s journal, two photographers retraced the 1776 expedition through the Four Corners region and recorded the present-day condition of the expedition’s campsite.

• “Tracing the Santa Fe Trail: Today’s Views, Yesterday’s Voices,” by Ronald Dulle.

Synopsis: With this volume, readers can enjoy a vicarious journey of some 1,200 miles along the Santa Fe National Historic Trail between Old Franklin, Mo., and Santa Fe, N.M., and relive some of the excitement and drama of the commercial and trading enterprises of the 1800s. It all began when Mexico declared its independence from Spain, and William Becknell, Josiah Gregg and the Bent brothers opened communication with their trading expeditions.

• “Vanishing Circles: Portraits of Disappearing Wildlife of the Sonoran Desert Region,” by Linda M. Brew and Richard C. Brusca.

Synopsis: Sixty-seven works of art illustrate 93 endangered species found in seven Sonoran Desert habitats. The collection was commissioned and acquired for the Arizona Sonora Desert Museum by the Priscilla and Michael Baldwin Foundation. The splendid reproductions could be mistaken for photographs, and their artful descriptions make the book a sheer treasure.

• “Wild Horses of the West: History and Politics of America’s Mustangs,” by Edward De Steiguer.

Synopsis: Here is history on the hoof that traces the origins of the horse in America from prehistory to the present. Included are details of years of politics involving ranchers, farmers, environmentalists, hunters, and yes, even those who track and capture horses to turn into cat and dog food. First-rate maps trace the introduction and spread of the Spanish horses from the Caribbean through Mexico into the Southwest and ultimately North America.

The Southwest Books of the Year program has been in existence since 1977. All of each year’s titles are listed on the Pima County Public Library’s website

Printed brochures are available on ASU’s Tempe campus at several locations, including the University Club, Emeritus College (lower level of Old Main) and the Labriola Center in Hayden Library. For more information contact Etter at

Sun Devils ready for MAACO Bowl

December 22, 2011

The ASU football team will take on the Boise State Broncos this evening in the 20th MAACO Bowl Las Vegas.

The game will be played at Sam Boyd Stadium in Las Vegas and will kick off at 5 p.m., Pacific time, and 6 p.m., Arizona time, Dec. 22. ESPN and ESPN3 will provide both national television and national radio coverage of the bowl game. Download Full Image

Arizona State will be making its 25th bowl appearance and first since the 2007 Holiday Bowl. The Broncos finished the regular season ranked 8th in the AP poll and 6th in the USA Today Coaches Poll.

The Sun Devils have faced the Broncos once in their history. The only time the Sun Devils and Broncos have ever faced each other in football was in 1996, when ASU beat Boise State 56-7 in Tempe on its way to an undefeated regular season and a Rose Bowl berth.

Arizona State finished the regular season with a 6-6 mark and a 4-5 record in Pac-12 play.

ASU is 12-10-1 all-time in bowl games and will look to snap a two-game losing streak in the postseason. This will be the Sun Devils' first appearance in the MAACO Bowl Las Vegas. Boise State enters the matchup with an 11-1 mark, including a 6-1 record in the Mountain West Conference. The Broncos defeated the Utah Utes 26-3 last season in the MAACO Bowl Las Vegas.

Visit for an interactive guide to the game.

Lisa Robbins

Assistant Director, Media Relations and Strategic Communications