A Land So Strange Pdf.
A Land So Strange: The Epic Journeying of Cabeza de Vaca. By Andrés Reséndez. (New York: Basic Books, 2007. Pp. 328. Illustrations, maps, further reading, notes, index. ISBN 978-0-46506-841-8. $26.95, cloth.) My first impression of this volume was probably similar to that of many others: what justifies a new book on Cabeza de Vaca? In contempo years there have been no troves of new sources, no major archaeological discoveries, no long lost diaries unearthed that appreciably change the contours of our understanding of de Vaca’s ordeal. Withal, beginning impressions can be deceiving. The justification for this volume is not a new archival source simply a new authorial voice. It is the narrative ability of the Reséndez account that makes this book worthwhile and offers to a wider audience the extraordinary tale of Cabeza de Vaca’s wanderings. The story that Reséndez tells is well known to scholars. The Pánfilo de Narváez expedition began in 1527 and was intended to explore and have formal possession of the Spanish territories effectually the Gulf of United mexican states, from Florida to Tamaulipas. The entire undertaking was plagued past bad planning, abysmal leadership, and withal worse luck. Cabeza de Vaca (and 3 other members of the trek) survived a voyage that included two hurricanes, complex indigenous politics, a constantly shifting language barrier, near starvation, and thousands of miles of walking. Their traverse of the U.S. Southwest and northern United mexican states was a start for Europeans and an early case of a Spaniard who “had gone completely native” (p. 2). In this book, Reséndez has attempted to walk a fine line between popular nonfiction and historical enquiry, aiming to draw an audience of educated readers who are non necessarily specialists. A popular evocation of this journey that savage short was Nicolás Echeverría’s Cabeza de Vaca (1991), a hallucinatory film that sometimes seemed more interested in the ‘trip’ than the trip. Reséndez takes a different tack, arguing that “[t]oo often, the human dimension of these encounters is lost in the crucible of grand imperial narratives”(p. 9). His retelling is offered as a corrective to the usual view of the contact phase as a profoundly imbalanced process favoring European explorers, especially since information technology was the Europeans who suffered subjugation. The threat to the narrative of an exegesis of the historical literature is avoided through providing citations at the stop of paragraphs and all-encompassing discussion of specific points in the endnotes. At that place is no question that Reséndez has distilled the academic literature on everything from Gulf of Mexico tides to live ruby macaws to produce this account; he merely does not allow it to intrude on the narrative flow. The maps and illustrations are appropriate in number and announced just equally the reader needs them. A minor problem for the reader is the lack of discussion about the language barrier. All parties are described equally communicating through signs, and various characters are described every bit gifted with language skills, only the reader is never provided an adequate explanation of the coping mechanism involved in this most basic tool of survival. A larger trouble was the persistent use of the phrase “must accept” throughout the book to ascribe motivation, knowledge, or emotion. On 1 level, information technology becomes tiresome to read the aforementioned words several times per folio. Moreover, it creates an uncomfortably tentative feeling in the text: what practice nosotros 314 Southwestern Historical Quarterly Jan *jan 09 11/26/08 12:00 PM Page 314 know and what is supposition? It is in this respect and this respect alone, that Reséndez strays from that fine line betwixt pop and bookish writing. Historians will certainly enjoy this volume, but will gain the most from the detailed endnotes and the lengthy “Farther Reading” section, which offer a comprehensive guide to the well-nigh contempo research on Cabeza de Vaca. University of North Texas Aaron W. Navarro Historic Native Peoples of Texas. By William C. Foster. (Austin: University of Texas Press, 2008. Pp. 364. Maps, illustration, appendices, notes, bibliography, alphabetize. ISBN 978-0-29271-792-iii. $60.00, cloth. ISBN 978-0-29271-793-0…
A Land So Strange Pdf