288 pages, 50 b/w photos, 1 map
These personal and historical meditations explore the human and natural history of the Near Southwest, a bio-region that embraces New Mexico, Texas, Oklahoma, and slices of Colorado, Kansas, Arkansas, and Louisiana. Centuries ago, the Navajos named this region the Horizontal Yellow, a landscape characterized by yellowed grass stretching in all four directions, rivers that drain from the Southern Rockies to the Gulf of Mexico, and human cultures peculiarly adapted to the regional biome. The Horizontal Yellow's piney woods, oak savannahs, blackland prairies, rolling desert plains, desert scrub basins, scarp mesas, table lands, pinon-juniper foothills, and diverse mountain ranges have succored and inspired American Indians, Hispanos, Anglos, and Frenchmen, including Dan E. Flores's own ancestors, who homesteaded in western Louisiana three hundred years ago and were mustangers on the Southern Plains. Moving between the present and past, the personal and historical, the author ruminates on myth, wilderness, wolves, horses, deserts, mountains, rivers, and human endeavor from Cabeza de Vaca to Georgia O'Keeffe in the Near Southwest.
"Dan Flores explores our complex relationship with the natural environment in a way that far surpasses the simple-minded rhapsody of most nature writers. This is a provocative book from an original mind."
– Stephen Harrigan
"Lively, vivid, and intensely personal, Horizontal Yellow fills a gap in American environmental historiography, which has largely bypassed the plains of Texas and New Mexico. Horizontal Yellow is one of the best and most evocative books in the burgeoning literature about place [...] it succeeds and raises questions as a first-rate contribution to the literature of place, and few know the region as well as Flores [...] "
– New Mexico Historical Review
"No one makes history come alive better than Dan Flores [...] Horizontal Yellow, both scholarly and readable, has a powerful component."
– ISLE, Journal of Environmental Literature
"[...] beautifully-written in creative lyrical language [...] His is a story-telling technique that is enjoyable and easy-to-read."
– The Chronicles of Oklahoma
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Dan Flores is the A. B. Hammond Professor of History at the University of Montana in Missoula.