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The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 50, July 1946 - April, 1947

Book Reviews

Joyous Wanderings, Mainly in Search of Space and Sunshine."
Its 325 pages illustrate how amply he found them.
Spearman, Texas
River of the Sun: Stories of the Storied Gila. By Ross Calvin.
Albuquerque (University of New Mexico Press), 1946.
xx+153 pp. End paper designs, title page map-design, and
ten full-page photographs. $3.50.
Here is the story of the Gila and the strange and beautiful
land through which it flows, written by a clergyman who loves
the country and has read widely of its history and travelled
knowingly through its reaches. Mr. Calvin takes full advantage
of his colorful subject, and from the "theme design" of the end
papers on through the pages of the book, the result is highly
pleasing and entertaining. Although the little book wanders
into many by-paths and is something more than the title sug-
gests, it is less than a history of the Gila River (which it does
not pretend to be). It follows carefully the requirement of the
University Press for facts-the author has followed his pattern,
without violence to history, through a period of more than four
hundred years. It is the story of the river itself, the land and
people who have lived upon it; of the mountains, the mesa, and
the desert; of explorers and pathfinders; of Indian wars and cat-
tle barons; of stagecoaches and land speculators; and of mining
camps-and always the river. It is a regional book, written by
a naturalist who is impressed by the wonderment of the land
about which he writes, blending as he does botany with history,
and archaeology with soil erosion. The book has an enthusiast's
rather than a scientist's approach.
There are two deficiencies which the present reviewer finds
in an otherwise excellent book: There is a definite need for
a detailed map of the area, with place names, such as Willow
Creek, Bead Springs, the Gilita, and the location of the icicles
at the ultimate source of the Gila. What the preface calls "the
sunshine belt of the title page, not a map but a design" is not
adequate, however artistic. Secondly, there is need for contem-
porary drawings and photographs. The reader expects to see
at least some of the camera studies which the author ably
describes as though he himself were looking at the photographs.
A "before and after" set of photographs of the "Big Ditch," or


Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 50, July 1946 - April, 1947. Austin, Texas. The Portal to Texas History. Accessed May 3, 2016.

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