Strangers have come, one after another, to the place that is now California. For hundreds of years the Indians of the coast maintained their lifeways upon the land. Beginning in 1769, and intrepid band of Liberians under the leadership of Father Junipero Serra established the fabled missions of new Spain's far northern frontier. When their worldviews clashed, the newcomers' feudal assumptions about humans' relations to reduction compelled the seminomadic Indians to transform their attitudes and customary routines.
Drawing on an array of primary sources, Monroy (history, Colorado Coll.) shows that Mexican culture in southern California today derives from the interaction of Indians with Europeans and Americans. He uses his basic theme--the experience of people being ``thrown among strangers,'' usually because of demands for labor--to illustrate how cultural and historical change occurs. This interesting history of Spanish and Mexican California covers such salient topics as work, sexuality, and body discipline; patriarchical hierarchies in the missions and ranchos; the emergence of the market economy; and the nature and ramifications of racial violence. Recommended for libraries with collections in ethnic history in general and Coll., Rock Hill, S.C.