The decades between the Civil War and the end of World War I have been described as the United States’ workshop of democracy. During these sixty years, as contemporary observer Walt Whitman remarked, "not merely a nation but a teeming Nation of nations" pulled itself together to build an American Republic.
One special project was molding the Territory of New Mexico to fit into the Republic. The formative steps toward statehood had two distinctive routes: officials exercising political and legal power, and a diverse population demonstrating its loyalty to the nation. The same two paths were again decisive just five years after statehood when the United States entered World War I.
Dr. David V. Holtby earned his undergraduate degree from the University of Washington, spent four years as a military intelligence analyst in the USAF, and completed his doctorate at the University of New Mexico in 1978.
During a nearly thirty-year career in publishing, he served as the in-house editor and also fulfilled administrative duties as editor-in-chief and associate director of the University of New Mexico Press. Upon retiring in 2006, he resumed historical research but shifted his emphasis from the Spanish Civil War to twentieth-century New Mexico, resulting in books on statehood and World War I.