Spanish Pathways

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Historian Marc Simmons is already a favorite among scholars, students, Hispanophiles, and borderland enthusiasts for his careful, readable histories of the American Southwest. In the twelve essays collected in Spanish Pathways, Simmons's topical, in-depth approach to New Mexico's colonial period is skillfully deployed. His original research and unique insights transform New Mexico's colonial history into an engaging story of real people and the real events that shaped their lives--a true journey of discovery. Simmons finds in the commonplace moments of everyday life ways to place the reader fully within the realities of the past. Immersion in details permits us to understand the behavior and character of a people and the true tenor of their times: how the average person lived and played, how he or she made economic choices, how worship and religious concerns were integrated into daily life.
Spanish Pathways covers such topics as the Pueblo Revolt, New Mexico sheep and cattle ranching, Spanish irrigation practices, the settlement of Albuquerque, the smallpox epidemic of 1780-81, and the Feast of St. John. The society and economy of the upper Río Grande were complex and richly textured, and the people who sustained themselves there became resilient and stoic, fashioning their own formulas for survival and forever impacting the directions taken by history's currents.

"Almost without exception, the topics covered in this work have not been studied by other scholars. In that sense, Spanish Pathways makes a unique contribution."--Rick Hendricks, coeditor of The Journals of don Diego de Vargas.

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