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New Mexico was ceded to the United States in 1848, at the end of the war with Mexico, but not until 1912 did President William Howard Taft sign the proclamation that promoted New Mexico from territory to state. Why did New Mexico’s push for statehood last sixty-four years? Conventional wisdom has it that racism was solely to blame. But this fresh look at the history finds a more complex set of obstacles, tied primarily to self-serving politicians. Forty-Seventh Star, published in New Mexico’s centennial year, is the first book on its quest for statehood in more than forty years. David V. Holtby closely examines the final stretch of New Mexico’s tortuous road to statehood, beginning in the 1890s. His deeply researched narrative juxtaposes events in Washington, D.C., and in the territory to present the repeated collisions between New Mexicans seeking to control their destiny and politicians opposing them, including Republican U.S. senators Albert J. Beveridge of Indiana and Nelson W. Aldrich of Rhode Island. Holtby places the quest for statehood in national perspective while examining the territory’s political, economic, and social development. He shows how a few powerful men brewed a concoction of racism, cronyism, corruption, and partisan politics that poisoned New Mexicans’ efforts to join the Union. Drawing on extensive Spanish-language and archival sources, the author also explores the consequences that the drive to become a state had for New Mexico’s Euro-American, Nuevomexicano, American Indian, African American, and Asian communities. Holtby offers a compelling story that shows why and how home rule mattered—then and now—for New Mexicans and for all Americans.
Since the earliest days of Spanish exploration and settlement, New Mexico has been known for lying off the beaten track. But this new history reminds readers that the world has been beating paths to New Mexico for hundreds of years, via the Camino Real, the Santa Fe Trail, several railroads, Route 66, the interstate highway system, and now the Internet. This first complete history of New Mexico in more than thirty years begins with the prehistoric cultures of the earliest inhabitants. The authors then trace the state’s growth from the arrival of Spanish explorers and colonizers in the sixteenth century to the centennial of statehood in 2012. Most historians have made the territory’s admission to the Union in 1912 as the starting point for the state’s modernization. As this book shows, however, the transformation from frontier province to modern state began with World War II. The technological advancements of the Atomic Era, spawned during wartime, propelled New Mexico to the forefront of scientific research and pointed it toward the twenty-first century. The authors discuss the state’s historical and cultural geography, the economics of mining and ranching, irrigation’s crucial role in agriculture, and the impact of Native political activism and tribe-owned gambling casinos. New Mexico: A History will be a vital source for anyone seeking to understand the complex interactions of the indigenous inhabitants, Spanish settlers, immigrants, and their descendants who have created New Mexico and who shape its future.
Sunshine and Shadows in New Mexico’s Past has one main goal: to reveal the sharp contrasts in New Mexico history. As with all states, New Mexico has had its share of admirable as well as deplorable moments, neither of which should be ignored or exaggerated at the other’s expense. New Mexico’s true character can only be understood and appreciated by acknowledging its varied history, blemishes and all. The third of three volumes, Sunshine and Shadows in New Mexico’s Past: The Statehood Period represents the New Mexico Historical Society’s humble gift to New Mexico as the state celebrates its centennial year of statehood in 2012.
The act of eating defines and redefines borders. What constitutes “American” in our cuisine has always depended on a liberal crossing of borders, from “the line in the sand” that separates Mexico and the United States, to the grassland boundary with Canada, to the imagined divide in our collective minds between “our” food and “their” food. Immigrant workers have introduced new cuisines and ways of cooking that force the nation to question the boundaries between “us” and “them.” The stories told in Food Across Borders highlight the contiguity between the intimate decisions we make as individuals concerning what we eat and the social and geopolitical processes we enact to secure nourishment, territory, and belonging. Published in cooperation with the William P. Clements Center for Southwest Studies, Southern Methodist University..
Originally published in 1992 and available now only from UNM Press,An Illustrated History of New Mexicocombines more than two hundred photographs and a concise history to create an engaging, panoramic view of New Mexico's fascinating past. For thousands of years various cultures have filtered into New Mexico, and each has adapted to the land. New Mexico has become a cosmopolitan society of many nationalities and ethnicities, all influenced by those who came before, and all part of a distinctive New Mexican culture that thrives today.

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