Four-Fold Visions of

the American West

Reason Versus Transcendence

from Alaska to New Mexico

December 24, 2017

In Part I of my story, I wrote of arriving in New Mexico with my wife Carol and my one-year-old son Jake, and there discovering the delights of Christmas in the Land of Enchantment. At the time, I was writing a book about New Mexico, one in which I took on many of the daunting problems facing New Mexicans and proposed new and sometimes controversial solutions to those problems. One such was homelessness. To deeper understand the issue, with Carol and Jake I spent Christmas Eve at Saint Elizabeth Shelter for the Homeless in Santa Fe. We pick up the story upon our arriv...

December 15, 2017

Carol and I moved to New Mexico in 1987. Our only child Jake was born in the village of Corrales three years later. In my book Because It Is So Beautiful: Unraveling the Mystique of the American West, I wrote about Jake’s first “real” Christmas,” the first that would register “as more than a glow of candlelight in his eyes.” In this blog and the next, I’ll reprise that story, one that began with my ruminations on the scope and character and tragedy of homelessness in the United States, continued with our introduction to the pleasures of Christmas in New Mexico, and en...

December 2, 2017

Oh, East is East, and West is West, and never the twain shall meet...

                             Rudyard Kipling, “The Ballad of East and West”

How is the American West different from the

American East? As an insufferable Westie, I’m always on the lookout for books, statistics, surveys, anecdotes, history, quotations, and the like that go beyond simple identifications of West-East differences–that aim instead to show that the West is better than the East. Yes! Take, for example, the fact that the Eas...

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