The Books of the 
Grand Canyon, 
the Colorado River, 
the Green River 
& the Colorado Plateau 
A Selective Bibliography
1953 – 2003

by Mike S. Ford

192 pages
Only 400 printed
Trade paperback

To mark the fiftieth anniversary of Francis Farquhar's Books of The Colorado River & The Grand Canyon, Mike S. Ford has read nearly every book published in the last fifty years about the Colorado Plateau and the rivers and canyons that dissect it. From this vast array of literature, Ford has chosen the most important and significant 225 works for this selective bibliography. Ford describes each selection, emphasizing its contribution to the literature of this remarkable province. Fretwater Press issued this new bibliography in hardbound (now out of print) for collectors and libraries, and in trade paperback for the casual researcher and reader. A perfect companion to Farquhar's original, or a terrific contemporary work on its own. Designed to match the elegant original, in a limited printing.

Mike S. Ford continues an impossible journey ended fifty years ago. The original Selective Bibliography by Francis P. Farquhar, now a classic, made an entertaining and useful narrative of a "dry" list of books. Here, Ford picks up the paper trail again, right up to the present day--hardscrabble tales of boots and boats, and the view from the flying carpets of story writers and picture makers. Find, read, and re-read every one of them.

Earle E. Spamer
Grand Canyon & Colorado River bibliographer

Ford on Ford:

Because I was employed as a public school teacher I had much of the summer for travel. My first visit to the south rim of Grand Canyon was in 1964 and to the north rim the following year. Each year the route to and from the Canyon included some other highlights of the plateau country. I did a raft trip with Hatch in 1969, 100 years after Powell. I found my first copy of Farquhar in 1971.

After spending over 35 years collecting titles from Farquhar and later publications I realized there were so many good books about the canyon country published since 1953 that someone should bring Farquhar up to date. While visiting with David Hellyer one day in his book room I mentioned this idea with no thought of doing it myself. Dave agreed it needed to be done but he knew of no one working on such a project. After a brief pause he suggested I do it. I told him I was a collector and reader, not a writer. He countered with the idea that being a collector and reader I was familiar with most of the modern literature and that because I was also a traveler, floater, hiker, and backpacker I was also familiar with all the rivers and the country they run through. He said if I wanted to try it he would be my editor.

I came home and thought about the idea for a few weeks and one day in August, 2000 I took down the print-out of the books in my Colorado River/Grand Canyon collection and started marking all the items published from 1953 to the present. I marked something over 1200 titles. Several titles in the finished book were not yet published when I started writing. The writing took a little longer that I expected and unfortunately David left us before there was much to edit but thanks to Fretwater Press it was in print 50 years after Farquhar.

My goal in writing this bibliography was to give readers enough information about what the book covered that they could decide if they wanted to read it. So many books, so little time!

Steve Ford photo