In between dialogues and cultural history events we are busy reading, sharing books, and on the outlook for books we don’t already know about. So here we share a second set of books we’ve read, are reading, are currently on our nightstands, or on our list to read. (See our post on May 11 for the first list of books we shared.)
TURN LEFT AT THE SLEEPING DOG: SCRIPTING THE SANTA FE LEGEND 1920-1955
by John Pen La Farge
From the publisher:
Anglos have been coming to Santa Fe for centuries, and early in the last century the city's beauty and exotic cultural mix became particularly attractive to artistic immigrants looking for freedom from the greed and competitiveness of mainstream American culture. By the late twentieth century, many New Mexicans felt, Santa Fe's unique charm was nearly overwhelmed by the evils that people had moved there to escape. The interviews collected in this book preserve the old Santa Fe, the one people are still looking for. The interviewees represent a cross-section of Santa Fe during the best of times: native Santa Feans, both Spanish American and Anglo, artists, immigrants, those who came by accident, those who came intending to stay, those who fought to preserve the older cultures' traditions and values. The author, unlike most journalists, has known the people he interviewed his entire life. Most of these men and women were old timers when the interviews took place, and many have since died. Most readers of this book will not remember the good times it evokes. But the lively stories told here will enthrall all Santa Feans and would-be Santa Feans, as well as visitors who can only dream of living in the City Different. Interviewed in Turn Left at the Sleeping Dog are Amalia Sena Sánchez, Consuelo Bergere Mendenhall, Fray Angélico Chávez, Katherine "Peach" Mayer, Anita González Thomas, Josephine E. Baca, Chuck Barrows, Hazel Frederickson, Alice Henderson Rossin, Calla Hay, Letitia Evans Frank, Paul Frank, Tom and Doris Dozier, Samuel Adelo, Richard Bradford, J. I. Staley, Miranda Levy, Jerry West, Margaret Larsson, and Carol Smith. Interlaced with the interviews are comments from other Santa Feans: historian Myra Ellen Jenkins, cultural geographer J. B. Jackson, and anthropologist Oliver La Farge, the author's father.
WHITE SHELL WATER PLACE: AN ANTHOLOGY OF NATIVE AMERICAN REFLECTIONS ON THE 400TH ANNIVERSARY OF THE FOUNDING OF SANTA FE, NEW MEXICO
by F. Richard Sanchez (Editor)
This anthology, a companion to the Santa Fe 400th Anniversary Commemoration publication, All Trails Lead to Santa Fe, affords Native American authors the opportunity to unreservedly express their ideas, opinions and perspectives on the historical and cultural aspects of Santa Fe using their own voice and preferred writing styles that are not necessarily in accord with western academic and writing conventions. One cannot truly contemplate the history and culture of Santa Fe without the voices of the Native Americans—the original inhabitants of Po’oge, “White Shell Water Place”. Indeed, much of Santa Fe’s story is conveyed from a western colonial perspective, which, until fairly recently, has predominantly relegated Native Americans to the fringes. However, over the last thirty years colonial narratives regarding Native American history and culture have been, and continue to be, disputed and amended as the pursuit of academic, intellectual and cultural self determination gains momentum in respective Native American tribal and academic communities. The Santa Fe 400th Commemoration has created an opportunity for the Native American voice to be heard. This anthology is a ceremony of Native voices, a gathering of Native people offering scholarly dialogue, personal points of view, opinions, and stories regarding the pre and post–historical and cultural foundations of Santa Fe.
SANTA FE HISPANIC CULTURE: PRESERVING IDENTITY IN A TOURIST TOWN
by Andrew Leo Lovato
From the publisher:
As Santa Fe has become more and more of a tourist town, its Hispanic citizens have increasingly struggled to define and preserve their own cultural identity. This book is one of the few efforts by a native Hispanic resident to examine the city's traditions and cultures. Andrew Leo Lovato's focus is to understand how outside influences have affected Hispanic cultural identity and how this identity is being altered and maintained. Lovato also analyzes the development of homegrown Hispanic cultural identity in Santa Fe. Looking at the impact of tourism, he asks questions that resonate in any city relying on tourism for its livelihood: When a culture is defined, interpreted, or co-modified by outsiders, are natives of that culture influenced by the outsiders' interpretation? Do outsiders' definitions become part of their self-identity? Lovato begins by reviewing Santa Fe's history, from the Anasazi to the present-day tourist boom. In attempting to define the city's cultural identity, he includes excerpts from interviews with some of New Mexico's intelligentsia. Other interviews help examine the Santa Fe Fiesta and the city's identity as an art market. The concluding chapter, which considers tourism's general impact, features discussions of authenticity, the impact of tourism on native cultures, the relationship of tourism to development, and the political dimension of tourism.
109 EAST PALACE: ROBERT OPPENHEIMER AND THE SECRET CITY OF LOS ALAMOS
by Jennet Conant
From the bestselling author of Tuxedo Park, the story of the three-thousand people who lived together in near confinement for twenty-seven intense months under J. Robert Oppenheimer and the world's best scientists to produce the atomic bomb and win World War II. In 1943, J. Robert Oppenheimer, the brilliant, charismatic head of the Manhattan Project, recruited scientists to live as virtual prisoners of the U.S. government at Los Alamos, a barren mesa thirty-five miles outside Santa Fe, New Mexico. Thousands of men, women, and children spent the war years sequestered in this top-secret military facility. They lied to friends and family about where they were going and what they were doing, and then disappeared into the desert. Through the eyes of a young Santa Fe widow who was one of Oppenheimer's first recruits, we see how, for all his flaws, he developed into an inspiring leader and motivated all those involved in the Los Alamos project to make a supreme effort and achieve the unthinkable.
THE OTHER SLAVERY: THE UNCOVERED STORY OF INDIAN ENSLAVEMENT IN AMERICA
by Andrés Reséndez
Since the time of Columbus, Indian slavery was illegal in much of the American continent. Yet, as Andrés Reséndez illuminates in his myth-shattering The Other Slavery, it was practiced for centuries as an open secret. There was no abolitionist movement to protect the tens of thousands of Natives who were kidnapped and enslaved by the conquistadors. Reséndez builds the incisive case that it was mass slavery—more than epidemics—that decimated Indian populations across North America. Through riveting new evidence, including testimonies of courageous priests, rapacious merchants, and Indian captives, The Other Slavery reveals nothing less than a key missing piece of American history. For over two centuries we have fought over, abolished, and tried to come to grips with African American slavery. It is time for the West to confront an entirely separate, equally devastating enslavement we have long failed truly to see.