Books About New Mexico Heroes

The Life and Legend of George McJunkin, Black Cowboy

The Life and Legend of George McJunkin, Black Cowboy

by Franklin Folsom
This book is a great introduction to the history of black cowboys in New Mexico. McJunkin was a former slave who went on to make an instrumental archaelogical find in northern New Mexico — read more about this amazing man in our Curator’s Corner this week. Although this book is written for a young adult audience, it’s a great read for all ages.

Jewish Pioneers of New Mexico

Jewish Pioneers of New Mexico

by Thomas Jahne

Due to unrest and discrimination in Europe, Jews began immigrating to America in large numbers during the nineteenth century. The first two waves of immigration that brought Jews to New Mexico were German men in the 1840’s and 50’s, and Eastern Europeans coming with the railroad in the 1880’s.

This book tells of the adventures that unfolded for young Jewish merchants, tradesmen, and laborers, who were determined to build a successful life in the west. This is a fascinating read and a true rags-to-riches story as many of the families written about here became some of New Mexico’s most prominent, productive citizens.

Leslie Marmon Silko — Storyteller


by Leslie Marmon Silko

An incredibly woven book of photography, poetry and ceremony, Storyteller is a biography like no other. Silko blends tales of her childhood in Laguna Pueblo, her Amer-European education and her Native American education, her family and her religious tradition all against the desert backdrop of her home.

This book is beautiful, featuring incredible black and white photographs of her homeland. Silko also draws from Inuit culture, where she spent time while writing her critically-acclaimed book Ceremony.

This blending of narrative styles, photos, cultures, traditions and lifeways makes for an incredibly engaging read.

Storyteller won worldwide acclaim when it was published in the early 80’s and is now considered a classic of Native American literature and biography.