New books released by local author
Jul 02, 2014 | 4320 views | 0 0 comments | 108 108 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Dr. Bob McPherson, a professor at Utah State University who specializes in the history of the area, has released a number of new books that will be of interest to local residents and others interested in area history.

Three new books are of particular interest, including Under the Eagle, which tells the fascinating story of Samuel Holiday. Holiday, a Monument Valley native, was a Navajo Code Talker in World War II. He will be a grand marshal in the Independence Day parade in Blanding on July 4.

Another new book, Viewing the Ancestors: Perceptions of the Anasazi, Mokwic, and Hisatsinom, answers the questions often asked by academicians, visitors, and residents in the Four Corners region, “What happened to the Anasazi? How did they live and why did they leave this area?”

While there is no definitive answer for some of these queries, Bob McPherson in Viewing the Ancestors takes a hard look at what the Navajo, Ute, and Hopi say about these people.

Using extensive oral history as well as archaeological studies and traditional practices, the author discusses what contemporary Native Americans say about these Ancestral Puebloans.

Chapters include a discussion of Navajo and Hopi origin stories, the Great Gambler of Chaco Canyon, the power of Anasazi sites and objects, as well as the role of historic archaeologists and traders in encouraging Navajo entrance into the sites.

Copies of the books, which were published by the University of Oklahoma Press, may be purchased at the USU bookstore and the Edge of the Cedars Museum in Blanding, the San Juan Record in Monticello, and the Back of Beyond Book Store in Moab.

A third new book, Thru Navajo Eyes, Bluff to Monument Valley, was written by McPherson and published by Four Corners Digital Design with a $10,000 grant from San Juan County.

The book, which is also scheduled to include a free downloadable digital app for handheld devices, features 22 stops between Blanding and Monument Valley.

The stops include Twin Rocks, San Juan River, Comb Ridge, Cedar Mesa, Goosenecks, Bears Ears, Monument Valley, and more.

Traditional Navajo teachings are explained as they relate to each of the stops. McPherson explains that the book is designed to share local knowledge, or the “Teachings of the Land”, with visitors and local residents alike.

Thru Navajo Eyes is available online at and at local businesses, including the San Juan Record. The digital app is available at the Apple and Android app stores

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