"I sometimes pause in amazement," writes Erika Schelby in this delightful book, "about the curious connectedness of things." With wit, irony, and extraordinary insight, she explores the connectedness -- and contradictions -- in all manner of things, not least of all in the unexpected ties between her native Germany and her adopted state of New Mexic .
¬ Andrew J. Bacevich, Professor Emeritus of History and International Relations, Boston University
With wit and humor, this book tells the story one woman's voyage in search of a fascinating but hidden piece of American history. It ranges from frontier battles to dinners at the White House - and concludes by helping us answer the question of how the United States became the country it is today.
- Stephen Kinzer, author and award-winning correspondent; Senior Fellow in International and Public Affairs, Watson Institute, Brown University _________________________________________________________________
A deeply personal account of the imprint Germans left on New Mexico and the United States at large...A delightfully eclectic history told with charm and thoughtfulness.
¬ Kirkus Reviews
Especially recommended as a powerful 'must have' acquisition for any collection strong in New Mexican literature or German immigrant experiences in America.
¬ Diane Donovan, Senior Reviewer, Midwest Book Review
Early on, Spanish and English methods collide. With exquisite detail and stark honesty, Erika Schelby expertly weaves a story of culture, conflict, and belonging in this beautiful narrative. To gain insight, layers of history are pulled back and scrupulously examined.
Looking for Humboldt is focused on the Southwest but finds the connections to a larger world in good Humboldtian fashion, with brief cameo appearances by persons ranging from Thomas Jefferson, Frederick the Great, and Napoleon to Adalbert von Chamisso, Eugene Debs and Al Sieber, Chief of Scouts during the Apache Wars. Even geopolitical strategists like Mackinder and Mahan present their case.
From ancient events to the present day, from the tectonic plates below to the desert above, Schelby’srendition of the region’s diverse histories is unlike any other. It also provides a timely contribution to the 100-year anniversary of the 1917 American entry into the First World War.