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A Practical Guide to Life in the Wildfire Danger Zone
A fire fighting tool for homeowners and firefighters alike, this guide discusses both the properties of wildfires and ways to minimize damage. Authored by an environmental journalist with advanced degrees in forestry, it is a must-have book designed to help westerners understand the Wildfire Danger Zone.
Susan McSween and the Lincoln County War
The events of July 19, 1878, marked the beginning of what became known as the Lincoln County War and catapulted Susan McSween and a young cowboy named Henry McCarty, alias Billy the Kid, into the history books. The so-called war, a fight for control of the mercantile economy of southeastern New Mexico, is one of the most documented conflicts in the history of the American West, but it is an event that up to now has been interpreted through the eyes of men. As a woman in a man’s story, Susan McSween has been all but ignored. This is the first book to place her in a larger context. Clearly, the Lincoln County War was not her finest hour, just her best known. For decades afterward, she ran a successful cattle ranch. She watched New Mexico modernize and become a state. And she lived to tell the tales of the anarchistic territorial period many times.
Kaqchikel Maya and the Grounding of Spirit
The Kaqchikel Maya, who live in the highlands of central Guatemala, experience soul as part of a continuum of bodily states. This account of life in one highland Maya community shows how, among Kaqchikels, spirit expresses itself fundamentally through the body, and not as something entirely separate from the body. By examining the lived-meanings of midwifery, soul therapy, and community dance in the town of San Juan Comalapa, the book identifies the body as the primary vehicle for spiritual grounding in daily life. Hinojosa invites readers to understand how specialists in these activities articulate their knowledge of the spirit through their understanding of blood, and he encourages readers to glimpse the hidden life of the body and how bodily processes guide local understandings of spirit at the personal and group level. This work further illuminates the agentive role of the body in Maya spiritual experience and enriches the current discussions of Maya spiritual revitalization.
Based on more than thirty years of ethnographic fieldwork in Highland Guatemala, this study of Maya diviners, shamans, ritual dancers, and religious brotherhoods describes the radical changes in traditional Maya religious practice wrought by economic globalization and political turmoil. Focusing on the primary participants in the annual festival in the K’iche’ Maya village of Santiago Momostenango, the authors show how older religious traditionalists and the new generation of “cultural activist” religious practitioners interact within a single local community, and how their competing agendas for adapting Maya religiosity to a new and continually changing political economy are perpetuating and changing Maya religious traditions.
Strategies for Empire Unification
The Inka empire was the largest pre-Columbian polity in the New World. Its vast expanse, its ethnic diversity, and the fact that the empire may have been consolidated in less than a century have prompted much scholarly interest in its creation. In this study, Besom explores the ritual practices of human sacrifice and the worship of mountains, attested in both archaeological investigations and ethnohistorical sources, as tools in the establishment and preservation of political power.
Besom examines the relationship between symbols, ideology, ritual, and power to demonstrate how the Cuzqueños could have used rituals to manipulate common Andean symbols to uphold their authority over subjugated peoples. He considers ethnohistoric accounts of the categories of human sacrifice to gain insights into related rituals and motives, and reviews the ethnohistoric evidence of mountain worship to predict locations as well as motives. He also analyzes specific archaeological sites and assemblages, theorizing that they were the locations of sacrifices designed to assimilate subject peoples, bind conquered lands to the state, and/or justify the extraction of local resources.
Heritage and Carnival in San Antonio
Fiesta San Antonio began in 1891 and through the twentieth century expanded from a single parade to over two hundred events spanning a ten-day period. Laura Hernández-Ehrisman examines Fiesta's development as part of San Antonio's culture of power relations between men and women, Anglos and Mexicanos.
A History of the Death Penalty in the United States
Until the early twentieth century, printed invitations to executions issued by lawmen were a vital part of the ritual of death concluding a criminal proceeding in the United States. In this study, Gordon Morris Bakken invites readers to an understanding of the death penalty in America with a collection of essays that trace the history and politics of this highly charged moral, legal, and cultural issue. Bakken has solicited essays from historians, political scientists, and lawyers to ensure a broad treatment of the evolution of American cultural attitudes about crime and capital punishment.
An American Modernist
The first full-length critical analysis of the paintings of Jaune Quick-to-See Smith, this book focuses on Smith’s role as a modernist in addition to her status as a wellknown Native American artist. With close readings of Smith’s work, Carolyn Kastner shows how Smith simultaneously contributes to and critiques American art and its history.
Smith has distinguished herself as a modernist both in her pursuit of abstraction and her expressive technique, but too often her identity as a Native American artist has overshadowed these aspects of her work. Addressing specific themes in Smith’s career, Kastner situates Smith within specific historical and cultural moments of American art, comparing her work to the abstractions of Kandinsky and Miró, as well as to the pop art of Rauschenberg and Johns. She discusses Smith’s appropriation of pop culture icons like the Barbie doll, reimagined by the artist as Barbie Plenty Horses. As Kastner considers how Smith constructs each new series of artworks within the artistic, social, and political discourse of its time, she defines her contribution to American modernism and its history. Discussing the ways in which Smith draws upon her cultural heritage—both Native and non-Native—Kastner demonstrates how Smith has expanded the definitions of “American” and “modernist” art.
The Family Correspondence of Philipp Segesser
In the very last year of the seventeenth century a ten-year-old boy in the city of Lucerne, Switzerland, announced to his parents that he wanted to become a Jesuit missionary and save souls in faraway lands. Philipp Segesser got his wish when he was sent to northwestern Mexico in 1731. For the next thirty years he carried on an active correspondence with his family and religious affiliates. His letters home, translated and edited in this fascinating book, provide a frank and intimate view of missionary life on the remote northwestern frontier of New Spain. The editor’s introduction sets the letters in biographical and historical context.
The history of Mexico in the twentieth century is marked by conflict between church and state. This book focuses on the efforts of the Roman Catholic Church to influence Mexican society through Jesuit-led organizations such as the Mexican Catholic Youth Association, the National Catholic Student Union, and the Universidad Iberoamericana. Dedicated to the education and indoctrination of Mexico’s middle- and upper-class youth, these organizations were designed to promote conservative Catholic values. The author shows that they left a very different imprint on Mexican society, training a generation of activists who played important roles in politics and education. Ultimately, Espinosa shows, the social justice movement that grew out of Jesuit education fostered the leftist student movement of the 1960s that culminated in the Tlatelolco massacre of 1968. This study demonstrates the convergence of the Church, Mexico’s new business class, and the increasingly pro-capitalist PRI, the party that has ruled Mexico in recent decades.
Espinosa’s archival research has led him to important but long-overlooked events like the student strike of 1944, the internal upheavals of the Church over liberation theology, and the complicated relations between the Jesuits and the conservative business class. His book offers vital new perspectives for scholars of education, politics, and religion in twentieth-century Mexico.