The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 95, July 1991 - April, 1992

Book Reviews
NORMAN D. BROWN, Edztor
Columbian Consequences, Volume I: A (haeological and Histo~ cal Pe spectrves on the
Spanish Boiderlands West. By David Hurst Thomas. (Washington, D.C.:
Smithsonian Institution Press, 1989. Pp. viii+5o3. Acknowledgments, ref-
erences, maps, illustrations. $49.95.)
The first in a projected three-volume series celebrating the Columbian Quin-
centenary, this work attempts to "address the European-Native American in-
terlace along the western Spanish Borderlands" (p. 2). Billed as interdisciplin-
ary, it really is not. Of the thirty-four authors in this volume, three are
histoi ians, one has a degree in art history, one is a geographer, one is a "cur-
riculum specialist," and another a teacher and consultant. Twenty-seven of the
authors are anthropologists and archaeologists.
Professing a horror of the old "Black Legend" that distorts our view of Span-
ish achievements in the New World, the editor, David Hurst Thomas, employs
a "cubist perspective" to give the work "an overarching mechanism of balance,
perspective, and synthesis" (p. 5). In the process I homas, perhaps unwittingly,
embraces the New Black Legend, anti-Catholic bigotry disguised as scholar-
ship. Thomas is offended to recall that John F. Kennedy visited the grave of
Junipero Serra in Carmel, and that the Knights of Columbus donated $5o,ooo
to the U.S. Quincentenary Jubilee Commission (pp. 9-1o). The scholarly work
of John Francis Bannon, a Jesuit, is dismissed as "Christophilhc" (p. 5), a term
invented by David J. Weber. Similarly, the meticulous scholarship of Francis
Guest, a Franciscan, is worthless, because he is "another church historian"
(p. 6). On the other hand, the brutal diatribe of Indian activists Rupert and
Jeannette Costo, The Mti.sstom of Cahl/o ma: A Legacy of Geno(tde is a useful piece
of "Native American oral history" (p. o).
The worst piece in a very uneven book is Ed D. Castillo's essay on "The
Native Response to the Colonization of Alta Calllornia " An "independent
scholar" (p. 499), Castillo seemingly has no professional credentials as a histo-
rian, but does have an M.A. in anthropology. His work is a curious mixture of
sources that present a virulently anti-Catholic viewpoint, and a wonderful col-
lection they make: the widely discredited Indian population studies made by
Sherburne F. Cook; the doubtful quotation that Carobeth Laird wrote in her
eightieth year, recalling (without notes) something she had been told sixty years
earlier by "a very ancient Chumash woman," who supposedly heard them from
her grandmother (see Carobeth Laird, E(ounLei with an Angty God Re(ollections
of My Lile with John Peabody Hai)ngtoin [Banning, Calif.: Malki Museum 'Press,

Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 95, July 1991 - April, 1992. Austin, Texas. The Portal to Texas History. http://texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth117153/. Accessed September 1, 2014.