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BOOK REVIEWS111 Matovina does an excellent job of analyzing in a very careful and nuanced fashion the specific political, cultural, and religious choices which defined the Téjanos in San Antonio as neither Mexican nor United States nationalists, but rather as people whose loyalty was first and foremost to their own local people, place, and ways. He details how traditional public rituals of Tejano Catholic faith manifested and strengthened resistance to assimilation, and how mcoming non-Mexican Catholic clergy participated in and thus "blessed" these Tejano faith expressions and supported the maintenance of Spanish in education and worship. Thus there was forged a cultural link between pastors and local people which gave institutional confirmation within the new social order. On the other hand, Matovina points out that the new clergy also criticized other Tejano religious or cultural features, such as a perceived lack of doctrinal formation and a great love of dancing. A further interesting aspect of this study is the author's analysis of the probable reasons for an almost complete absence of Tejano conversion to Protestant groups during this period. As today's residents of an increasingly multicultural—especially Hispanic— and interfaith United States continue to be confronted with multiple decisions about cultural, political, and religious relations, Matovina's monograph provides an invaluable service in analyzing how the San Antonio Téjanos and the Catholic Church of those times responded to these challenges. Further questions which are little addressed by this study are what differences there may have been in ethnic self-identity and response between the native Téjanos and the sizable immigration from Mexico into San Antonio after 1836 (constituting almost half the "Tejano" population in the 1850's); how social-class differences among Téjanos may have affected their responses; and what role the strong non-Mexican and non-Anglo (especially German) element in San Antonio after 1845 played in the Tejano experience. All three of these issues have significant parallels in today's ever more culturally and economically complex Hispanic reality and in that of the United States Church and society in general. Robert E.Wright, O.M.I. Oblate School ofTheology San Antonio, Texas Contested Eden: California before the Gold Rush. Edited by Ramón A. Gutiérrez and Richard J. Orsi. [California History Sesquicentennial Series. Vol. 1.] (Berkeley: University of California Press. Published in association with the California Historical Society. 1998. Pp. xi, 396. $60.00 cloth; $27.50 paper.) Contested Eden is the first of four volumes to be published as the California History Sesquicentennial Series in association with the California Historical Society . Richard J. Orsi is the series editor, with a different coeditor assisting on 112BOOK REVIEWS each of the four volumes. These works deal with a variety of approaches to understanding the complexity, richness, and implications of early California. They cover the area's natural history and remarkable resources, the precolonial experience of the aboriginal population, the Hispanic era of Spanish and Mexican colonization, and the early years after California's entry into the United States. This book, a collection of articles authored by individual scholars, begins with a thoughtful preface which articulates the complexities of recent California history as a context for appreciating the importance ofthe state's equally complex natural and historical roots. Twelve chapters deal with a variety of approaches to California's natural and human history. A final section, virtually a visual thirteenth chapter, offers a remarkable collection of fourteen original paintings, sketches, maps, and photographs, all but one in color, depicting representative art, people, places, flora, and fauna of early California. This is in addition to the photographs, illustrations, and maps which complement the text throughout the book. Each article or chapter is followed immediately by notes which cite the authors' primary and secondary sources. The volume concludes with a helpful index. With the exception of a rare typographical error ("for" instead of "far," p. 245) and the unfortunate typographical or conceptual confusion between Erasmus and Erastianism (p. 155),the articles are well written and carefully edited. On pages 375-377, there are descriptions of the contributors which cast light on one of the strengths of this volume. These authors represent a diverse, skilled...

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Additional Information

ISSN
1534-0708
Print ISSN
0008-8080
Pages
pp. 111-113
Launched on MUSE
2016-10-05
Open Access
No
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