First Impressions

A guide to the history and culture of the American Southwest, as told through early encounters with fifteen iconic sites

This unique guide for literate travelers in the American Southwest 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




A GREAT ARIDNESS by William deBuys

THE WALK by William deBuys

RIVER OF TRAPS by William deBuys and Alex Harris

SALT DREAMS by William deBuys and Joan Myers

SEEING THINGS WHOLE Edited by William deBuys

VALLES CALDERA by William deBuys and Don J. Usner

THE LAST UNICORN by William deBuys