Cities of Gold, Douglas Preston's remarkable and award-winning book about retracing Coronado's search for the Seven Cities of Gold, has just been issued as an eBook for $5.99. But this edition, for the first time, includes 120 photographs taken by Walter Nelson on the journey, as well as extremely rare historical photographs of Native Americans and early Arizona and New Mexico prospectors, lawmen, cattlemen and pioneers. The book was published in 1992 and is now considered a classic of Southwestern adventure and history. In a recent interview, Douglas Preston said "I think this may be one of the best books I've ever written, or ever will write."
In 1989, Douglas Preston and a friend, Walter Nelson, set out on horseback across one thousand miles of Arizona and New Mexico, retracing the Spanish explorer Coronado’s search for the legendary Seven Cities of Gold.
They rode cross country, not following modern roads or trails, sleeping ‘in the saddle’ and enduring some of the harshest deserts and roughest mountain terrain in the United States. Forced to battle extremes of heat and cold, impenetrable mesquite thickets, bad water, rattlesnakes, flash floods and paralyzing drought, they nonetheless found the country awesome in its scale and beauty, with much of it so untouched that it was still recognizable from descriptions in Coronado’s reports.
Cities of Gold includes unforgettable portraits of such Indian leaders as Geronimo, Cochise, and the Zuni leader Palowahtiwa, along with stories of gun battles and feuds, and old memories of cattle drives, dust, and the open range.
In the end, Cities of Gold leaves the reader with an indelible portrait of the Southwest—as it was when Europeans first saw it and as it is today. Since the book’s publication fifteen years ago, it has become a classic.