Suggested Reading List
Ghosts of Glen Canyon: History Beneath Lake Powell
Author: Crampton, C Gregory
Description: Drift down the Colorado River through Glen Canyon and explore the people and places that encompass the history of this majestic canyon before it drowned in the rising waters of Lake Powell. Author Gregory Crampton led the historical investigations of Glen and San Juan canyons from 1957 to 1963 under contract with the National Park Service. The objective was to locate and record historical sites that would be lost to the rising waters of the reservoir. 160pp
Author: Brooks, Juanita
Description: This book by writer-historian Juanita Brooks (daughter of a Mormon polygamous family herself) tells the story of Emma Lee, one of the nineteen wives of John D. Lee, who was convicted and executed for his role in the Mountain Meadows Massacre of September 1857.
The book details Emma's life as a pioneer sister wife and the hardships and happiness she would experience as wife to a man who was initially well-respected within his insular community and was on a first name basis with Brigham Young himself. He would eventually become a pariah within that very same community and would move his wife Emma to Lonely Dell in Arizona, where they would establish a ferry service across the Colorado River, which would help with the general Mormon plan for colonization in Arizona.
Lee’s Ferry, Desert River Crossing
Author: Rusho, W.L.
Description: Lee’s Ferry operated for 55 years (1872-1928) as the only crossing point along 600 river miles of the Colorado with a “road” on each side. Explorers, emigrants, missionaries, promoters, miners, writers, politicians, even notorious outlaws all helped turn Lee’s Ferry into a corridor and supply point for the men and women who shaped much of the American West. More than 140 rare photographs bring to life the fascinating history of this unique area.
A Story That Stands Like a Dam: Glen Canyon and the Struggle For the Soul of the American West
Author: Martin, Russell
Description: An engineering marvel, the Glen Canyon Dam, dedicated in 1966, also represents wholesale destruction of a unique wilderness area. Its construction brought about and consolidated the environmental movement nationwide, and it was probably the last project of its kind, a swan song for the Bureau of Reclamation. Russell Martin gives a well-balanced account of building the dam, the controversy it caused and assessment of its value today (opinion divided). His lively narrative introduces us to engineers, environmentalists and politicians, all colorful characters.
Beyond the Hundredth Meridian: John Wesley Powell and the Second Opening of the West
Author: Stegner, Wallace
Description: Here Wallace Stegner, a Pulitzer Prize-winner, gives us a thrilling account of Powell's struggle against western geography and Washington politics. We witness the successes and frustrations of Powell's distinguished career, and appreciate his unparalleled understanding of the West. "Stegner's most exciting work." (San Francisco Chronicle)
Cadillac Desert: The American West and Its Disappearing Water
Author: Reisner, Marc
Description: The story of the American West is the story of a relentless quest for a precious resource: water. It is a tale of rivers diverted and dammed, of political corruption and intrigue, of billion-dollar battles over water rights, of ecologic and economic disaster. In Cadillac Desert Marc Reisner writes of the earliest settlers, lured by the promise of paradise, and of the ruthless tactics employed by Los Angeles politicians and business interests to ensure the city's growth. Cadillac Desert is a stunning expose and a dramatic, intriguing history of the creation of an Eden--and Eden that may be only a mirage. 608pp
Everett Ruess - A Vagabond for Beauty
Author: W.L. Rusho
Description: Everett Ruess, the young poet and artist who disappeared into the desert canyonlands of Utah in 1934, has become widely known posthumously as the spokesman for the spirit of the high desert. Many have been inspired by his intense search for adventure, leaving behind the amenities of a comfortable life. His search for ultimate beauty and oneness with nature is chronicled in this remarkable collection of letters to family and friends.
The Exploration of the Colorado River and Its Canyons
Author: Powell, John Wesley
Description: Full text of Powell's 1,000-mile expedition down the fabled Colorado in 1869. Superb account of terrain, geology, vegetation, Indians, famine, mutiny, treacherous rapids, mighty canyons. 240 illustrations. 432pp
Author: Lavender, David
Description: A historical and cultural overview, including discussions of present-day racial, conservation, and economic problems. Easy reading, fascinating history. 364pp
Under the Banner of Heaven: A Story of Violent Faith
Author: Jon Krakauer
Description: In 1984, Ron and Dan Lafferty murdered the wife and infant daughter of their younger brother Allen. The crimes were noteworthy not merely for their brutality but for the brothers' claim that they were acting on direct orders from God. In Under the Banner of Heaven, Jon Krakauer tells the story of the killers and their crime but also explores the shadowy world of Mormon fundamentalism from which the two emerged.