San Juan Bonanza Duane A. Smith and photography by John L. Ninnemann, University of New Mexico Press, $24.95, Hardcover; 800-249-7737.

san-juan-bonanzaDuane Smith is the finest mining historian and writer I personally know.

With this new book, that is both a blessing and a curse. The book is centered on the San Juan mining area in Colorado (basically in Smith’s backyard), of which he is the expert. The well-written text is indeed informative and full of Smith’s unique insight, but it’s too short. I wanted more about the miners, about the railroads and about the mining camps (Smith has written other fine books covering those subjects). The saving grace of the work, though, is the fabulous photography by John Ninnemann. Even though I would have liked to have seen more from Smith, this book is a great mini-history of the San Juan. —Linda Wommack

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