browser icon
You are using an insecure version of your web browser. Please update your browser!
Using an outdated browser makes your computer unsafe. For a safer, faster, more enjoyable user experience, please update your browser today or try a newer browser.

Arizona History, Government, Biography, Autobiography

“Perhaps, in the not too distant future, every Arizona home will have its own collection of Arizona books, and every Arizona citizen will have familiarity with such books.” ~Barry Goldwater

Arizona History Arizona: A Cavalcade of History, by Marshall Trimble
This book was written by a local folklorist/Southwest Studies instructor. It doesn’t sound like a history lesson, but rather like a fireside chat about true stories of humor and heroism. This informative chronology of Arizona’s past, interspersed with delightful tales and legends, is suitable for pleasure reading as well as for educational study. Arizona: A History, by Thomas E. Sheridan
The author of this book is the curator of ethnohistory at the Arizona State Museum. He explores the history of Arizona from the era of the mammoth to the present, and emphasizes the early Hispanic settlers, their history and impact on the state. He also examines how Arizona has changed, with tourists, environmentalists, and outside business interests challenging the ranchers, mining companies, and farmers who once controlled the state. If you’re looking for colorful stories or humorous anecdotes, this is not the book for you. This is a well-researched academic book, filled with detailed facts and information. Arizona Pageant: A Short History of the 48th State, by Madeline Ferrin Pare
Long out of print but still available in some public libraries, this Arizona history text copyright 1965 was written back when Arizona’s major industries were still the four C’s (cotton, cattle, copper, and climate). I still have fond memories of learning about Arizona history from this book when I was in the 10th grade at Mesa High School. It was all new to me then because my family had just moved here from Western New York, but Arizona’s natural wonders and history were fascinating to me – and always will be. Roadside History of Arizona, by Marshall Trimble
If you travel around Arizona-and even if you don’t-this is a good resource to have. Most of the state’s major roadways are covered and the author does a nice job of describing historical events that occurred at various locations. Take this book along on car trips for looking up place names, pointing out historic landmarks, and explaining the history behind small towns that you drive by. Vanished Arizona: Recollections of the Army Life of a New England Woman, by Martha Summerhayes. This is the true story of a Nantucket woman who marries a cavalry officer and moves with him to Arizona, “that dreaded and then unknown land,” in the late 1800’s. It is a personal account of Army life in Indian country, and of raising children in difficult conditions. This charming classic encompasses history, autobiography, travel, and adventure.




Amigos de Arizonac (

Many public, charter, private, parochial, and home schools use Arizona study materials created by Amigos de Arizonac, Inc. of Phoenix, Arizona. All of their materials were written and designed by Arizona educators and are aligned with Arizona’s social studies standards. They offer more than 50 products including student texts, teacher resources, classroom activities, Arizona Bingo, maps & charts, puzzles & games, writing exercises, tests, and computer software.

For over 30 years, Dr. Dick Buscher has been learning and teaching about Arizona’s unique and wonderful history and environment. His doctoral dissertation is the basis for the history program, “Ali-Shonak: The Story Of Arizona.” This series of ten books is perfect for school students – as well as homeschool families with children of all ages – to learn about Arizona’s history. The text is interesting and informative, the illustrations and layout are appealing – and best of all, they’re fun! As the title suggests, it’s more like reading a story about Arizona rather than a history text.

Even better, all ten individual Ali-Shonak books are now available in full color on a CD! When the student clicks on a page, the author reads the entire text aloud to the student. This works especially well for auditory learners, and allows even non-readers (adult or children) to learn all about the wonders of Arizona’s history. I highly recommend these books (in either format) for an enjoyable Arizona study.

Arizona Historical Society

The Arizona Historical Society publishes a variety of books and monographs that focus on the history of Arizona and the Southwest, from the first Spanish explorations to modern times. They also publish the quarterly Journal of Arizona History, a benefit of AHS membership at the $40 level and higher. The journal features well-written, entertaining, scholarly articles on the history of the state and region, plus photo essays and critical book reviews. The Education department has published two textbooks: Arizona Constitution and Government is an informative and entertaining high school textbook that examines Arizona’s constitution and three branches of government. $9.45 each. Teacher’s manual, $11.95 Studies in Arizona History integrates Arizona history into the American history course by focusing on local issues that illustrate national trends. Primary sources, diverse perspectives, and historians’ research techniques are emphasized. This text can be used for both high school and middle school levels. The Arizona Historical Society earned the American Association of State and Local History’s prestigious national “Award of Merit” for this outstanding textbook. Hardback copies are priced at $32.00; Soft-cover copies are available at $23.00. Discounts are available with quantity purchases. Contact the AHS Education department in Tucson at (520) 628-5774 or visit their website at

Arizona Blue Book

The Office of the Secretary of State publishes the Arizona Blue Book under Arizona law. This edition includes colorful photos submitted by the Arizona Department of Tourism; an Arizona historical timeline; information for Arizona Kids; a story about the history of the state seal; and so much more! The book is a “must own” for Arizonans or for anyone interested in learning about the Grand Canyon State. It’s all here, packed into 276 pages. Information about: Arizona’s executive, judicial and legislative branches; agencies, boards and commissions; Native American nations and tribes; Arizonans in the federal government; history of the state, state symbols and state seal; colleges and universities; cities and county information; election information; etc.

Arizona State History CD-ROM

This do-it-yourself guide to Arizona’s history is a fun learn-at-home course for self-motivated individuals. Instead of just reading text and memorizing facts, you apply critical thinking, research and writing skills to find information and prepare reports. It contains video clips and clickable web links. Topics include: state government and leaders, natural resources, economics and business, population and people, tourism and culture, inventions and technology, the state’s Christian heritage, and a historical timeline. For grades 7-12, from Alpha Omega Publications in Chandler, Arizona. Click on the AOP link or click on the banner below to order.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *