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290Southwestern Historical QuarterlyOctober often lost in sterile academic treatments. The chapter introductions also provide readers with their own doorway to Monroy's subject, as well as a way to analyze their own memories. Given America's current political and economic concerns around immigration and free trade, Monroy begins the book with complex treatment of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) and the border. He introduces the concept of a "New World Border," a play on new world order, to suggest that the economic and social realities of die border have created a unique logic that can only be understood within its own context. Within this logic, seemingly contradictory concepts such as criminality, economic desperation, labor demands, and political exploitation coexist to create the modern concept of the border. This chapter sets the tone for the rest of the essays by setting the reader up to accept incongruence for the insight it offers. Three of Monroy's following chapters delve deeper into California's colonial and early national past, often connected to Monroy's own family history in the region. In his chapter on Californio society, he details their complex hierarchies and social rituals to show the ways they reproduced old world values while incorporating new racial realities. The chapter on Ramona recovers die indigenous longings of the novel to narrate California as a "paradise lost" of interracial society . This same chapter also allows Monroy to revise previous views he held in his excellent treatment of California missions, Thrown Among Strangers: TL· Making of Mexican Culture in Frontier California (University of California Press, 1993). Later, he provides an intellectual history of the California mission priests as a means to suggest alternative narratives of California's past. Again, all of these conclusions are meant to shed light on paths out of seemingly intractable positions in contemporary politics and culture. Such alternative readings of the past also figure into other chapters in TL· Borders Within. Monroy's explorations of Mexican-American identity take him into new readings of Manifest Destiny and Wilsonian ideology and reconfigure a contemporary meaning of mestizajealong the way. He introduces Mexican intellectuals and their conversations with modernity in opposition to early twentieth-century American views of Mexicans as pre-modern. Monroy's roving Mexican-Americanist perspective brings a fresh look at regional history, colonial history, the borderlands , and American diplomacy, resulting in a dioughtful and provocative example of the possibilities historical inquiry can raise. University ofHoustonRaúl A. Ramos Cemeteries ofAmbivalentDesire: UnearthingDeep SouthNarrativesfrom a Texas Graveyard. By Marie Theresa Hernández. (College Station: Texas A&M University Press, 2008. Pp. 260. Illustrations, notes, bibliography, index. ISBN 9781603440264. $24.95 paper.) Marie Theresa Hernández describes her engaging study as "recollection of stories and a musing on their meaning for a certain space" (3). That "certain space" refers to San Isidro Cemetery and its home, Fort Bend County. As Hernández dem- 2oogBook Reviews2gi onstrates, the historical bonds that conjoin the cemetery and the county—bonds once as intimate and undeniable as they were violent and exploitative—have been obscured, buried, and forgotten by popular histories, state-sanctioned commemorations , and nation- and state-building mythologies. In reconnecting these spaces, Hernández not only combats historical amnesia, she advocates engagement widi die past despite the discomfort and pain such engagement can entail. Hernández begins by introducing her two primary sites. The first is die Fort Bend community of Sugar Land. Fort Bend County was home to the first white settlement in what became Texas, and it remains heavily invested in the mythology surrounding the "Old Three Hundred." Almost two centuries later, Fort Bend is home to Sugar Land, Houston's most affluent suburb and a Republican stronghold whose privileged residents retrace their free-market, small-government inclinations back to that heroic first generation. The odier site, San Isidro Cemetery, was established by the Imperial Sugar Company in the early twentieth centuryas a burial ground for its Mexican workers. Mexicans were not the first to labor in these fields. Slaves and convicts preceded them. On its outskirts, in graves older than the cemetery, San Isidro also documents their presence as well as that of the Mexican laborers. Decade after decade, the labor...

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Additional Information

ISSN
1558-9560
Print ISSN
0038-478X
Pages
pp. 290-292
Launched on MUSE
2011-07-06
Open Access
No
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