This is a first-rate book—well-conceived, well-organized, and well-written. . . . [It] provides us with a significant insight into the way the Americanist archaeological discipline came into being and advanced. While the present reviewer has participated in a more traditional presentation of the subject, he will be the first to admit that Snead's 'behind the scenes' perspective makes for more interesting reading as one follows the rise and development of Southwestern archaeology. . . . This is a masterly, informative, highly readable account of the development of a major chapter in New World archaeology.
—Gordon R. Willey, Journal of Field Archaeology
A brief review cannot possibly do justice to the complex arguments and undercurrents in this short and extremely important study. I think its greatest importance lies in Snead's analysis of the sheer complexity of the history of southwestern archaeology, something we all tend to forget. Beautifully written, thoroughly researched, and insightful, Ruins and Rivals
is a remarkable tour de force, especially when one remembers the author is not a professional historian. Snead has given us a perspective on southwestern archaeology that should be an integral part of every graduate seminar in the southwestern past. For once, the old cliché applies. Everyone interested in southwestern archaeology must read and own this book. It's that important.
—Brian Fagan, American Antiquity
A readable book, full of telling detail.
An excellent work. It should be read by everyone engaged, or interested, in the intricacies of 'archaeo-politics,' past and present.
—Journal of Anthropological Research
A wonderful book for anyone interested in the history and archaeology of the Southwest. Well written, it contains skillfully interwoven vignettes of people and their adventures in uncharted terrain.
—Journal of Arizona History
Ruins and Rivals
is a deftly written account, and Snead's storytelling ability makes it an enjoyable read. His anecdotal material is especially vivid and intriguing. . . . This book will be of enormous value to anyone interested in the history of science, the performance of Southwestern prehistoric archaeology, or both.
—Traditional Dwellings and Settlements