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Book Review: Desert America: Boom and Bust in the New Old West by Ruben Martinez

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Desert America: Boom and Bust in the New Old West by Ruben Martinez evokes a world of sharp contrasts between outrageous wealth and a devastating poverty. Martinez names fast-growing western cities like Gilbert or Peoria, Arizona, and North Las Vegas.

Martinez shows how parts of the West are in a housing boom. Cheaper housing could be bought initially in places like Twenty Nine Palms at the western edge of the Mojave Desert. In addition, immigrant mom and pop stores have sprung up in areas like Velarde, Santa Fe, with bargain clothing outlets in places like Tenchas and Mextorta.

The author relates how pick-up trucks deliver water to communities like Baboquivari Valley in Arizona which is a dry corridor of the Sonoran Desert. There are certainly commercial opportunities for bottled water companies in this area.

The Baboquivari Mountains are about a two hour drive from Tucson. The Baboquivari Valley is a great flat area with mountains rising sharply to about 8,000 feet. The prominent feature of this range is Baboquivari Peak, a dome shaped mountain which peaks over a mile and a half high.

There are opportunities to develop huge solar panel capabilities throughout the Southwest; however, the area must overcome the discrepancies between the rich and the very poor. In addition, droughts and the need for water must be addressed. The author doesn’t say so; however, there are opportunities for solar energy driven desalination plants.

In Joshua Tree, California, a new gentrification displaces longstanding residents and their historical culture according to Martinez. On the Tohono O’odham reservation, the author explains how the Native Americans expelled Mexican migrants attempting to cross the border. The Tohono O’odham Nation is a federally recognized Tribe located in southwestern and central Arizona

Desert America: Boom and Bust in the New Old West by Ruben Martinez is an important work on the burgeoning West which has contrasts between the rich and poor, a heavenly oasis versus continuous droughts and the Native Americans living in close proximity to United States citizens and Mexican migrants. Martinez has created an important work which updates readers on the new evolving West in close proximity to many Americans.

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About Dr Joseph S Maresca

I've taught approx. 34 sections of collegiate courses including computer applications, college algebra, collegiate statistics, law, accounting, finance and economics. The experience includes service as a Board Director on the CPA Journal and Editor of the CPA Candidates Inc. Newsletter. In college, I worked as a statistics lab assistant. Manhattan College awarded a BS in an allied area of operations research. The program included courses in calculus, ordinary differential equations, probability, statistical inference, linear algebra , the more advanced operations research, price analysis and econometrics. Membership in the Delta Mu Delta National Honor Society was granted together with the degree. My experience includes both private account and industry. In addition, I've worked extensively in the Examinations Division of the AICPA from time to time. Recently, I passed the Engineering in Training Exam which consisted of 9 hours of examination in chemistry, physics, calculus, differential equations, linear algebra, probability/ statistics, fluids, electronics, materials science/structure of matter, mechanics, statics, thermodynamics, computer science, dynamics and a host of minor subject areas like engineering economics. A very small percentage of engineers actually take and pass the EIT exam. The number has hovered at circa 5%. Several decades ago, I passed the CPA examination and obtained another license in Computer Information Systems Auditing. A CISA must have knowledge in the areas of data center review, systems applications, the operating system of the computer, disaster recovery, contingency planning, developmental systems, the standards which govern facility reviews and a host of other areas. An MBA in Accounting with an Advanced Professional Certificate in Computer Applications/ Information Systems , an Advanced Professional Certificate in Finance and an Advanced Professional Certificate in Organizational Design were earned at New York University-Graduate School of Business (Stern ). In December of 2005, an earned PhD in Accounting was granted by the Ross College. The program entrance requires a previous Masters Degree for admittance together with a host of other criteria. The REGISTRAR of Ross College contact is: Tel . US 202-318-4454 FAX [records for Dr. Joseph S. Maresca Box 646 Bronxville NY 10708-3602] The clinical experience included the teaching of approximately 34 sections of college accounting, economics, statistics, college algebra, law, thesis project coursework and the professional grading of approx. 50,000 CPA examination essays with the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants. Additionally, membership is held in the Sigma Beta Delta International Honor Society chartered in 1994. Significant writings include over 10 copyrights in the name of the author (Joseph S. Maresca) and a patent in the earthquake sciences.
  • Keith Meeker

    After watching Mr. Ruben Martinez discuss his book with Tavis Smily [on PBS], I have come to the conclusion that the writer of this particular blog did not even come close to articulate the major themes in the book – Desert America. Please, do yourself the favor and read a short exerpt regarding the finer points of the book and make a better choice by considering to purchase the book – like I did.