428 Western American Literature Winter 2013 Alta California: Peoples in Motion, Identities in Formation. Edited by Steven W. Hackel. Berkeley: University of California Press in coproduction with the Huntington Library, 2010. 368 pages, $55.00. Reviewed by Anne Goldman Sonoma State University Look no further than the Ramona Pageant that draws tourists to Helmet, California, each spring to confirm the history of Spanish California as a chronicle richer in fabulation than fact. In place of romantic notions of the region--engendered in part by popular novelists such as Helen Hunt Jackson and Gertrude Atherton, furthered by railroad industry publications such as nineteenth-century Sunset Magazine and still maintained to a surprising degree today--Alta California: Peoples in Motion, Identities in Formation offers a well-argued and amply researched corrective. Published as part of the Huntington-USC Institute on California and the West, this volume celebrates the completion of a project to publish online the multitudinous data offered by the mission system's sacramental registers, whose record of baptisms, marriages, and burials, as editor Steven W. Hackel notes, has remained virtually intact despite the regime changes of the last three centuries. Alta California is certainly not the first book to insist that the period of cultural
Western American Literature – The Western Literature Association
Published: Feb 20, 2013
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