Back by Popular Demand The University of Arizona Press called this week, to let me know that they have reprinted Dr. Howard Scott Gentry's Bible of the Agaves..."Agaves of Continental North America." This book, originally printed in 1982, is an indispensable guide to the Agaves, a group of plants that have been used by the people of Mesoamerica for well over 9,000 years. With a copy of this book in your fat little hands, you can learn how to brew up a few cups of killer Mescal and weave a mat to rest on while you contemplate the authority of your brew... Dr. Gentry gave twenty-five years of his life to the Agaves, conducting field research from central Nevada south to the islands off the coast of Panama. Widely recognized as the world's leading authority on the Agaves, Dr. Gentry was an agricultural explorer for the U.S. Department of Agriculture for more than 30 years. I first met Dr. Gentry while on a field trip in Mexico in the late '50's. I was asked to be his mailman. I delivered mail from the U.S. to him and took mail back to post from El Paso. I learned more about the Agave family in one night around the campfire than I could have learned in two semesters at a University. I was invited to a reception honoring Dr. Gentry back in 1982 at the Desert Botanical Garden in Phoenix. The occasion was a giant celebration of the publication of the book Agaves of Continental North America. Part of the funding for the book was from a grant from the National Academy of Science. A day after the reception, Dr. Gentry took me over to his office to share some field data and photos with me. When I asked Dr. Gentry about the fine points of funding research and writing, he smiled and said: "You know, I would rather re-write the entire book and do all of the field work all over again than I would fill out all the paper work necessary to obtain funding from the National Academy." Dr. Gentry's book is one of those rare books that speak to the scholar and to the layman. Every serious student of desert plants needs a copy of this book. I know that Dr. Gentry is in Agave heaven, visiting with Mayahuel, the Goddess of Agaves and together, they are profusely thanking the University of Arizona Press, for this important reprint!