First Impressions: A Reader’s Journey to Iconic Places of the American Southwest by William deBuys and David J. Weber (d. 2010) is a stunningly beautiful guide to the history and culture of the American Southwest. It tells the story of fifteen iconic sites across Arizona, New Mexico, southern Utah, and southern Colorado through the eyes of the explorers, missionaries, and travelers who were the first non-natives to describe them. Noted borderlands historians David J. Weber and William deBuys lead readers through centuries of political, cultural, and ecological change.
The sites visited in this volume range from popular destinations within the National Park System—including Carlsbad Caverns, the Grand Canyon, and Mesa Verde—to the Spanish colonial towns of Santa Fe and Taos and the living Indian communities of Acoma, Zuni, and Taos. Lovers of the Southwest, residents and visitors alike, will delight in the authors’ skillful evocation of the region’s sweeping landscapes, its rich Hispanic and Indian heritage, and the sense of discovery that so enchanted its early explorers.
Published in Cooperation with the William P. Clements Center for Southwest Studies, Southern Methodist University
David J. Weber (1940–2010) was founding director of the Clements Center for Southwest Studies at Southern Methodist University.
William deBuys is a writer and conservationist. He is the author of nine books, which range from memoir and biography to environmental history and studies of place. Today he lives on the farm he has tended since 1976 in the remote village of El Valle in the Sangre de Cristo Mountains between Santa Fe and Taos.
Dan Louie Flores is an American writer and historian who specializes in cultural and environmental studies of the American West. His latest book, due out in paperback this month, Coyote America, was a finalist for the 2017 PEN/E.O. Wilson Literary Science Writing Award and the Winner of the Sigurd F. Olson Nature Writing Award.