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Fire on the Plateau: Conflict And Endurance In The American Southwest
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Fire on the Plateau: Conflict And Endurance In The American Southwest

4.16  ·  Rating Details ·  32 Ratings  ·  9 Reviews
"This book recounts my journey through the Colorado Plateau, a journey through place and time and self.... During my explorations of more than three decades, I found a land that sears into my heart and soul, a place that has taught me and changed me. I also discovered a land of conflict and endurance, a land that has given birth to one of the great chapters in American his ...more
Paperback, 416 pages
Published September 15th 2004 by Island Press (first published April 1st 1999)
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Jul 26, 2015 Michael rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I like this lawyer - and it's definitely not everyday that I find a lawyer to admire. Charles Wilkinson proves to be that rare exception. A bit reluctant at first to pick up a first hand account of recent resource and tribal issues on the Colorado Plateau as seen through the eyes of a lawyer, my attitude changed within a few pages. Charles Wilkinson writes with heart! It doesn't take long to see this writer has an obvious emotional investment in the clients and cases he goes to bat for.

The book
I grew up on the Colorado Plateau, just minutes from the "Big Rez," and Charles Wilkinson paints a detailed social, natural and geologic picture of this land, about as close as you can get to the Third World here in the United States, in some ways.

Having one of the largest American Indian populations in the country, and certainly so going by percentage of the population, Indian relations with whites, whether private citizens or the state and federal governments, form a large part of this area's
Eric B. Kennedy
A comprehensive and well written guide to the American Southwest, made particularly poignant by reading it while I was in the midst of researching the energy water nexus faced by the Navajo of Arizona.

The book provides a relatively vast overview of tribes and experiences on the Colorado Plateau. While it was slow moving at times, it was also markedly engaging and diverse for a legal and historical account. The diversity of stories and rich personal experience of Wilkinson make this an important
Donna Jo Atwood
Charles Wilkinson has spent almost his entire professional life working as a lawyer and working with Native American rights, water rights, and mineral rights on the Colorado Plateau in the Four Corners region. His book talks about the history, the ecology, the economy, and the people within that area.
As nearly as I can tell, Wilkinson is highly sympathetic to and respectful of the various Native American cultures without trying to "become" a member of it.
Feb 23, 2012 Emily rated it it was amazing
This book is so inspiring. It's part memoir, part cultural history, part love song to the Colorado Plateau. Charles Wilkinson is a rare person--an academic who writes well, a lawyer who's first and foremost a good human being. I hope that one day I will have lived and worked in a place long and well enough to write a book like this one.
Feb 19, 2009 Mark rated it really liked it
An amazing story of the colorado plateau and the people and natural resources found there. Please read this book if you are interested at all in water, coal, oil, and other resource policy as it relates to the native peoples and natural beauty of the American Southwest found in the incomparable Colorado Plateau and Great Basin areas. One of the best books I've read in years!
Sep 20, 2010 Lisa rated it it was amazing
Great stories and well researched. I first read this book as an undergraduate and I was sooooooooooooo mad when I found out that Boyden represented Hopi AND Peabody Coal--can you say conflict of interest?!?
Jul 28, 2008 Jill is currently reading it
What I have read of this book has made me realize even more what an amazing person Charles Wilkinson is. I have been lucky to get to know him.
Aug 09, 2016 Sraweatherby rated it liked it
This book covered the settlement and development of the Colorado Plateau (by rich white bastards). It is informative and it is heartbreaking. Wish the writing style had been more compelling...
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