ACKNOWLEDGMENTS

MY INTEREST IN THE HISTORY AND CULTURE OF THE AMERICAN SOUTHWEST BEGAN IN EARNEST DURING MY YEARS AS AN UNDERGRADUATE STUDENT AT YALE UNIVERSITY IN THE 1970s. This undiminished hunger for the history of this unique region of the country was rooted in the research and teaching of Howard Roberts Lamar, Sterling Professor of History and President Emeritus at Yale. Many students from western states who attended Yale gravitated toward Dr. Lamar, not only because he was pleasant, approachable, and the nation’s leading scholar on the history of the American West, but also because he had a dog named Tucson. He often invited these wayward students from the West to what we called, “Rancho Lamar,” where he served Mexican food, much to our delight. He tried to make us feel at home in an unfamiliar environment. Of course, I took every course he offered, and in my sophomore year he assigned Robert Utley’s Last Days of the Sioux Nation. One evening, early in the semester, I picked up Utley’s book, intending to thumb through the introduction. I did not put it down until I had read the last sentence at 6:00 a.m. the next morning. Twelve years later, after I had completed and defended my doctoral dissertation on water resource development in the Southwest, Robert Utley cooked me dinner at his home in Santa Fe, New Mexico.

The Norton Trilogy is a direct result of these early and potent influences on my life and career. It is a natural extension of my previous books on the American Southwest, and I owe a debt of gratitude to the various scholarly mentors and writers in a host of disciplines who shaped my views on the critical roles that federal reclamation, law, politics, and individual initiative played in the settlement and growth of this often unforgiving region of the country. In short, this work is a rumination on the history of water and agribusiness in the American Southwest through the lives of three generations of John Ruddle Nortons.

I owe much to John Ruddle Norton III and his wife, Doris, whose willingness to work with me in terms of securing appropriate sources as well as in providing guidance and wisdom throughout the process enabled me to

-xi-

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The Norton Trilogy
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Contents v
  • Foreword - The Honorable Jon Kyl, United States Senator vii
  • Acknowledgments xi
  • Introduction 1
  • 1 - On the Edge of a Desert Empire 7
  • 2 - Corporate Water 29
  • 3 - Westward Tilt 55
  • 4 - John R. Norton Jr. and the Urban Oasis 93
  • 5 - Establishing Prior Rights 106
  • 6 - Depression to Empire 123
  • 7 - To the Other Side of the River 141
  • 8 - An Expatriate’s Dilemma- Arizona V. California 164
  • 9 - We Must Not Be Indecisive Lest We Be Ineffective 185
  • 10 - The Deputy Secretary of Agriculture 203
  • 11 - An Accurate Vision 219
  • Conclusion 239
  • Notes 244
  • Index 292
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