Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0809095319, Hardcover)
A portrait of the priest and colonialist who is one of the most important figures in California’s history
As the founder of the first Catholic missions in California, Father Junípero Serra is regarded as the crucial early apostle of the Golden State. He’s been beatified by the Catholic Church and widely celebrated as a pioneer. And yet his legacy is complicated by his missions’ devastation of much of coastal California’s indigenous population.
Steven W. Hackel’s groundbreaking biography, Junípero Serra: California’s Founding Father, is the first to remove Serra from the realm of religious polemic and place him within the currents of history. Beginning with Serra’s years in Mallorca as a priest and professor, exploring his time in Mexico working among Native Americans and as an itinerant preacher, and detailing his final years on the California coast as an uncompromising missionary and shrewd administrator, Hackel reveals Serra’s potent blend of Franciscan piety and worldly cunning.
A man of indomitable will, Serra outmaneuvered a series of royal officials to establish himself as the great mission builder of his time. But for all his success in bringing Spanish customs and Christian beliefs to Native Americans on the Pacific coast, his legacy today is highly contested. On the three hundredth anniversary of Serra’s birth, Hackel’s biography presents a complex, authoritative study of a man whose life continues to be celebrated and denounced.
(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 30 Sep 2013 13:34:42 -0400)