2021 Southwest Books of the Year
In Riding Shotgun with Norman Wallace, award-winning geographer William Wyckoff celebrates the photographic legacy of Norman Grant Wallace, whose work as an Arizona highway engineer during the first half of the twentieth century afforded him the opportunity to survey every corner of the Grand Canyon State. Possessing a passion for photography, Wallace documented Arizona throughout his travels. From 1906 to 1969 Wallace photographed the state's natural and rural landscapes; its burgeoning infrastructure including roads, bridges, and dams; and its towns and cities, some of which experienced exponential growth following World War II.
Nearly one hundred years later, Wyckoff retraces Wallace's southwestern travels using the engineer's photographs and meticulous notebooks as a guide. The author rephotographs many of Wallace's iconic vantage points, giving us a historical tour of Arizona, a "then-and-now" viewpoint that also tells the personal story of Wyckoff's own vicarious travels with Wallace through Arizona's vast countryside and its urban centers and small towns.
William Wyckoff is a professor of geography at Montana State University. He is the author and coauthor of numerous books on the American West, including How to Read the American West: A Field Guide, On the Road Again: Montana's Changing Landscape, and Creating Colorado: The Making of a Western American Landscape, 1860-1940.
"Armchair travels have taken on an added allure during the pandemic, and this book is worth perusing. It is especially attractive to those who have lived in Arizona or may be considering relocating to the Grand Canyon State."--Rosanne Boyett, Cibola Citizen
"William Wyckoff's rephotography creations are a kind of artistic exploration of the American roadside as place and image. If you like your travels served up with provocative visuals insightfully comported, Riding Shotgun with Norman Wallace will usher you merrily along that lost highway."--Daniel D. Arreola, Journal of Historical Geography
"Wyckoff has spent his entire career looking carefully, thinking about what he is seeing, and communicating his thoughts in prose that is rich and refreshing, much to the benefit and delight of his readers."--Geoffrey L. Buckley, The AAG Review of Books
"William Wyckoff presents a humorous, engaging, and personal remaking of Norman Wallace's photographs documenting Arizona's byways and communities. Given this uniquely descriptive biopic that recontextualizes the photographs made by Wallace, who worked for the Arizona Highway Department and contributed frequently to Arizona Highways, it's time for a between-the-pages road trip!"--Peter Goin, coauthor of Time and Time Again: History, Rephotography, and Preservation in the Chaco World
Chapter One. Meeting Norman Wallace
Chapter Two. Nature's Palette
Chapter Three. Monuments to History
Chapter Four. Mining's Mark
Chapter Five. Small Towns
Chapter Six. Mother Road
Chapter Seven. Urban Arizona
Chapter Eight. Far Corners