A Place of Thin Veil

In Gallup, New Mexico, the veil between the material and spiritual worlds is thinner and more permeable. It is a place that is disproportionally and simultaneously wonderful and terrible. A reservation bordertown with a remarkably diverse citizenry, Gallup started out as a railroading and coal mining community with an alcohol-soaked, violent history. It is a place of constant struggle where the forces of good and evil are joined in combat and where each resident faces their own inner struggles.

As an outsider who embraced the realities of this enigmatic town, Bob Rosebrough came to know many of Gallup’s larger-than-life figures personally and became fascinated with Gallup’s history. As the city’s mayor he made real progress before running head-on into the bulldozer that is Gallup’s old guard. He gives readers a rare and true insight into Gallup, its iconic stories, and its long-kept secrets.

This book isn’t just for Gallupians or New Mexicans; it is both a memoir and history about real people facing Goliath struggles. It is the tragic story of the 1973 abduction of Gallup Mayor Emmett Garcia (a co-owner of a problem bar near the Navajo Nation) by a nineteen-year-old Indian activist named Larry Casuse, who died in the shootout that followed. Other struggles include the war on the Navajos and the Long Walk; the violent coal-mining strikes of the 1930s and the trial of the Gallup 14; the young Navajo men who developed and used a code that helped the U.S. win World War II; the 205-mile “Walk to Santa Fe” to seek alcohol reform legislation; and the Navajo Nation’s and Gallup’s longstanding life-or-death efforts to obtain water for their people.

Book Cover for a Place of Thin Veil
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Visit Bob at the Tucson Festival of Books March 12-13, 2022

Tucson Festival of Books

Bob will be participating in the Hot Off The Press! book launch party exclusively for Friends of the Festival! He is a panelist in The Publishing Journey Workshop where two authors, a literary agent, and an editor discuss how to navigate the publishing journey. Later that afternoon he is a panelist in Southwest Tales Read Worldwide, with James McGrath Morris who put Navajo culture and Gallup, New Mexico on the map. On the last day, he is a panelist in On the Outside Looking In where Bob and Kendra James discuss the challenges of making it despite the suspicion and mistrust that surrounded them every day.