How Cultural Writers And Figures Have Shaped Phoenix's History

October 02, 2013

Some of us who have spent most of our lives in Phoenix can be a little sensitive, prickly even, when we are told the city’s history is, well, lacking. When a place grows so rapidly in a short period of a few decades, what does history even mean? Arizona State University professor of Spanish and women and gender studies David William Foster has written about how cultural figures and writers have shaped Phoenix. His new book is called "Glimpses of Phoenix: The Desert Metropolis in Written and Visual Media," and it includes quite a variety of figures, from Wallace and Ladmo to Steve Benson to Stella Pope Duarte.

Foster and I met on ASU’s Tempe campus, not too far from the Frank Lloyd Wright-designed Gammage Auditorium, but Foster said writing about the former Valley resident Wright would have led to too much of a focus on architecture.