ASU Book Group: ‘Valley of the Guns’ by Eduardo Obregón Pagán

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The ASU Book Group's November 2019 reading selection is "Valley of the Guns: The Pleasant Valley War and the Trauma of Violence" by Eduardo Obregón Pagán. The book group is open to all in the ASU community and meets monthly from noon–1 p.m. in the Piper Writers House on ASU's Tempe campus. Haven't read the book? Come anyway! Authors are always present. A no-host luncheon follows at the University Club. 


In the late 1880s, Pleasant Valley, Arizona, descended into a nightmare of violence, murder, and mayhem. By the time the Pleasant Valley War was over, 18 men were dead, four were wounded, and one was missing, never to be found. "Valley of the Guns" explores the reasons for the violence that engulfed the settlement, turning neighbors, families and friends against one another.

In this book, Pagán explores how geography and demographics aligned to create an unstable settlement subject to the constant threat of Apache raids. The fear of surprise attack by day and the theft of livestock by night prompted settlers to shape their lives around the expectation of sudden violence.

The book is available from 

Eduardo Obregón Pagán is the Bob Stump Endowed Professor of History at ASU.

The ASU Book Group meetings and selections for 2019-2020 are:

The ASU Book Group is sponsored as a community outreach initiative by the Department of English and organized in partnership with the Virginia G. Piper Center for Creative Writing.

Judith Smith
Wednesday, Nov. 20, 2019, 12-1 p.m.
Piper Writers House (PWH)
Tempe campus
Free of charge and open to the public

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