Worth Their Salt
This new collection of essays is the product of volunteers for the Utah Historical Society. The writers were inspired by stories of Utah women who made important contributions to the cultural, political, or social formation of the state, and yet have been forgotten or misrepresented. Some of the "notable but often unnoted women" include: Alice Merrill Horne BFA'50, an early Utah legislator, Ivy Baker Priest, United States Treasurer, Kuniko Muramatsu Terasawa, a journalist and publisher at the turn of the century, and Rachel Urban, Park City's leading madam. While the book's representation is varied, it is by no means exhaustive. These biographies, individually selected and crafted, function as eloquent snapshots, "brief views into fascinating lives," in the midst of a rich, and more complex historical context. Editor Colleen Whitley BA'62 says the defining factor of the work is, "the emotional as well as the intellectual commitment of the writers." Among the collection's 18 contributors, Utah alumni include: Donna Smart, MA'81, Patricia Lyn Scott MA'83, Miriam Murphy BA'56, Martha Bradley BFA'74 PhD'87, Stanford Layton MA'69 PhD'72, Harriet Arrington BS'57, David G. Pace MA'94, and Susan Lyman Whitney BA'72. (1996; Utah State University Press, Logan, Utah; paper, 84322-7800)
A unique anthology, Missing Stories offers a history of ethnic groups in Utah through personal narratives. Utah's oldest, largest, and most culturally viable ethnic groups are divided into eight communities: American Indian (the Ute community), African-American, Jewish, Chinese, Italian, Japanese, Greek, and Chicano-Hispanic. Individuals within each group tell their unique life stories in personal voices that give the book both poignancy and strength. Collected voices and personal perspectives communicate not only individual experience, but reflect a context of community. Efforts toward success, independence, or just survival, are detailed as life on a reservation, in a mining town, a growing city, or a small farm. The many voices of these stories share examples of struggle, and also of triumph. The oral elements of the collection are supplemented by historical prefaces written by local historians which offer context and lend congruity to the vivid narratives. Among these writers are U alumni: Ron Coleman BS'66 PhD'80, Edward Mayer BA'62, Michael Walton BA'69 MA'70, Philip Notarianni BA'70 MA'72 PhD'80, Nancy Taniguchi MA'81 PhD'85, and Helen Papanikolas BA'39. (1996; University of Utah Press, Salt Lake City, Utah 84112; cloth)
If We Had a Boat: Green River Explorers, Adventurers, and Runners
In the introduction of his book If We Had a Boat: Green River Explorers, Adventurers, and Runners, Roy Webb, an archivist at the University of Utah Marriott Library, describes the history, excitement, and beauty of Wyoming's Green River. "There will always be those who, like the adventurers before them, look at a river and think to themselves, "If we had a boat . . ." writes Webb.
Webb's historical account of the Green River covers trappers in search of prime hunting grounds; the California-bound gold-diggers; scientific surveyors after the Civil War; and the ensuing enterprises of recreational river running and tourism. Webb skillfully describes how the life of the Green parallels the history of the American West. During the first part of the 20th century, the Green River and its tributaries in Colorado and Utah are permanently altered by commerical and government projects. Webb recounts changes to the river caused by newly developing electrical utility companies, the U.S. Reclamation Service, and plans for hydroelectric dams, which trigger decades of bitter disputes between industry and conservation groups. In one of the final chapters on the Green's enduring legacy of danger, challenge, and beauty, Webb wryly notes that the "story of the man's use of the Green River had come full circle. Perhaps things have not changed so much after all."(1996; University of Utah Press, Salt Lake City, UT 84112; paper)