When ""Amerikanuak"" was first published in 1975, it was hailed as both a pioneering study of one of the American West's most important ethnic minorities and as an engaging, comprehensive survey of Basque migration and settlement in the Americas. Its value as an essential introduction to the history of the Basque people and their five centuries of involvement in the New World has not diminished in the thirty years since, and it remains the most accessible overview of the Basque diaspora in the Western Hemisphere. Research for the book took the authors through ten states of the American West, Mexico, Colombia, Peru, Chile, Argentina, Brazil, and Venezuela as they traced the exploits of Basque whalers in the medieval Atlantic; the Basque conquistadors, missionaries, and colonists who formed a dramatic part of the history of Spanish America; and the Basque sheepherders who were the backbone of the now nearly vanished range-sheep empires of the American West. They also trace the story of the Basques back to their mysterious origins in prehistory and provide background for understanding the Basques' character and their homeland in the Pyrenean mountains and seacoasts between France and Spain. This new paperback edition makes this indispensable study of Basques in America available to another generation of readers. It includes a fresh preface by William A. Douglass.
William Douglass helped to initiate the Basque Studies Program (now Center for Basque Studies) and served as its coordinator for over thirty years. Jon Bilbao prepared the massive Eusko-Bibliographia, a bibliography of Basque reference works. He was also an instructor with the Basque Studies Program at the University of Nevada, Reno.