Raymond Starr, Book Review Editor
The History of the Imperial Valley Swiss. Edited by Joseph J. Anderholt and Dorothy M. Anderholt. Holtville, California: The Imperial Valley Swiss Club, 1984. Preface. Photographs. Bibliography. Index. 446 pages.
The History of the Imperial Valley Swiss makes several contributions. It contains a brief overview of Imperial Valley history, a short introduction to the Swiss in the Valley, and incredible quantities of material on the Swiss (individually or as a community) in the Imperial Valley. The bulk of the volume is made up of quotations from Valley newspapers and biographical sketches or memoirs of Swiss inhabitants. They range from a short paragraph to many pages in length. As such the book is a gold mine of primary source material for future historians of the Imperial Valley or of American ethnic history. It is also heavily illustrated, with many of the photographs obviously coming from family collections. Because of the biographical emphasis and the complete indexing, The History of the Imperial Valley Swiss has a special appeal to genealogists. Books like this one will be the foundation stones of much future history; it is unfortunate we do not have more like it. The book can be ordered from the Imperial Valley Swiss Club, P.O. Box 807, Holtville, CA 92250