The Milagro Beanfield War (Paperback)

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Staff Reviews

This is one of my very favorite novels of all time. It’s simple, Joe Mondragon just wants to plant beans. To grow those beans Joe needs water in thirsty New Mexico. So he diverts water to his field and the war begins. Joe’s serious in ways no one quite believes. It’s the principle of the thing, watering his bean field. A story always relevant, always poignant, funny and awe inspiring characters. --Marilyn

— From Staff Picks - Marilyn


Joe Mondragon, a feisty hustler with a talent for trouble, slammed his battered pickup to a stop, tugged on his gumboots, and marched into the arid patch of ground. Carefully (and also illegally), he tapped into the main irrigation channel. And so began-though few knew it at the time-the Milagro beanfield war. But like everything else in the dirt-poor town of Milagro, it would be a patchwork war, fought more by tactical retreats than by battlefield victories. Gradually, the small farmers and sheepmen begin to rally to Joe's beanfield as the symbol of their lost rights and their lost lands. And downstate in the capital, the Anglo water barons and power brokers huddle in urgent conference, intent on destroying that symbol before it destroys their multimillion-dollar land-development schemes. The tale of Milagro's rising is wildly comic and lovingly tender, a vivid portrayal of a town that, half-stumbling and partly prodded, gropes its way toward its own stubborn salvation.

About the Author

John Nichols's New Mexico Trilogy, inaugurated in 1974 with the publication of The Milagro Beanfield War, has grown from regional stature to national appeal, from literary radicals to cult classics. Beloved for his compassionate, richly comic vision and admired for his insight into the cancer that accompanies unbridled progress, Nichols is the author of nine novels and six works of nonfiction. He lives in northern New Mexico.

Praise For…

"Gentle, funny, transcent." --The New York Times Book Review

Product Details
ISBN: 9780805063745
ISBN-10: 0805063749
Publisher: Henry Holt & Company
Publication Date: February 15th, 2000
Pages: 456
Language: English