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Legends of the American Desert

Alex Shoumatoff’s encyclopedic treatise on the American Southwest, Legends of the American Desert, is surely one of the most engaging travel books ever. Part travelogue, part history, part diary, and part anthropological study, it’s chockful of digressions, asides, and fascinating discourses on everything from the ecological role of rattlesnakes to the sexual customs of Apache warriors. Whether trekking into the most remote reaches of Mexico’s Copper Canyon with Tarahumara Indians or chronicling the lesbian commune of Arf, Shoumatoff makes for a diverting companion. A-

Legends of the American Desert
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