cloth, 673 p., $75
This much-anticipated publication by Richard Felger, author, founder and Director of the Drylands Institute in Tucson, is the latest in The Southwest Center Series published by the University of Arizona Press. It is a compilation of information from a number of sources, many either unpublished or out-of-print, and the author has aggregated the information into an easy-to-use reference format readily understandable by those in a variety of disciplines who are studying the Sonoran Desert.
This book has captured the essence of a little-known and greatly misunderstood part of our natural world. Its black-and-white photographs admirably encapsulate the stark beauty of this fragile Sonoran landscape; the line drawings accurately represent the botanical keys to each taxa. Though the tables in the appendices are somewhat difficult to use, the font size and non-glossy paper stock can be read easily. The writing style is clear and precise.
Undoubtedly, this book will be widely used throughout a number of scientific disciplines where studying the Sonoran Desert of the southwestern United States and northwestern Mexico is a priority. Nonscientists will find this book a fascinating portrayal of the history and environmental setting of this flora, and they also will enjoy the lucid descriptions throughout. Those raised in the Southwest, or those who have spent significant time there, will catch in their imagination a whiff of clean, pungent desert air while viewing many of the landscape photographs in this work.
— Boyce Tankersley, Manager of Collections Documentation, Chicago Botanic Garden