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.