The author of this outstanding book, a Texas-born professor of history at the University of Oklahoma, limits his ""Southwest"" of America to the states of Texas, Oklahoma, New Mexico and Arizona; here he presents a political, social and cultural history of this vast region from the days of the cliff-dwellers to the present. Supplementing the studies of Walter Prescott Webb (The Great Plains. etc.) and J. Frank Dobie, the author, a man steeped in his subject, writes of climate and geography, of explorers and Indians and soldiers, of stage-coaches and the camel-corps. He tells of trade routes and cattle trails, of Taos and Santa Fe and modern Phoenix, of politicians corrupt and honest, of oil millionaires and the first Spanish settlers. The Southwestern states are separated in distance but bound close in history: American infilitration in Texas led to the Mexican War and the acquisition, by victory and purchase, of much of New Mexico and Arizona -- and Texas. Gold in California brought emigrants, soldiers, farmers and town-builders to New Mexico and Arizona, who seeped into Texas; the opening of Indian lands for settlement in Oklahoma meant an upsurge in population that overlapped into the other three states. Once remote and untamed, the Southwest today is following ""the pattern by which American society has changed from pioneer to urban civilization"", and is losing much of its distinctive flavor, and perhaps some of its disadvantages; self-seeking politicans the domination of its universities by reactionary millionaires. Carefully documented and pulling no punches, this long and readable book will appeal to liberal devotees of American history an students of the social and political backgrounds of Western America, its excellent bibliographical notes alone should assure it a place in comprehensive American historical collections.