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Three roads to Magdalena coming of age in a Southwest borderland, 1890-1990 David Wallace Adams

Catalog Data

Adams, David Wallace  Search this
Physical description:
xiii, 437 pages illustrations, map 24 cm
New Mexico
Magdalena (N.M.)
Part I. Cultures and Their Scripts -- Family and Religion -- Work and Play -- Pleasures and Transitions -- Part II. Boundaries and Border Crossings -- Points of Contact -- Anglos and Hispanics at School -- The Alamo Navajos at School -- Part III. Pasts and Promises -- Together and Apart -- Legacies and Departures -- Afterword
"In Three Roads to Magdalena, his long-awaited second book, David Wallace Adams brings together borderlands history with the history of children to tell a story about the realities of life in a multi-cultural space. Focusing on the childhood experiences of three groups--Anglo, Hispanic, and Navajo--Adams examines how class, religion, language, race, and education influenced the creation of distinct identities and racial boundaries in tiny, remote Magdalena, New Mexico, but also provided opportunities for cross-cultural interactions and intimacies. Adams particularly emphasizes the role of education here: school is one of the core features and institutions of a child's life, and in Magdalena it became one of the main arenas for cross-cultural interaction"-- Provided by publisher
"'Someday, ' Candelaria Garcia said to the author, 'you will get all the stories.' It was a tall order, in Magdalena, New Mexico, a once booming frontier town where Navajo, Anglo, and Hispanic people have lived in shifting, sometimes separate, sometimes overlapping worlds for well over a hundred years. But these were the stories, and this was the world, that David Wallace Adams set out to map, in a work that would capture the intimate, complex history of growing up in a Southwest borderland. At the intersection of memory, myth, and history, his book asks what it was like to be a child in a land of ethnic and cultural boundaries. The answer, as close to 'all the stories' as one might hope to get, captures the diverse, ever-changing experience of a Southwest community defined by cultural borders--and the nature and role of children in defending and crossing those borders. In this book, we listen to the voices of elders who knew Magdalena nearly a century ago, and the voices of a younger generation who negotiated the community's shifting boundaries. Their stories take us to sheep and cattle ranches, Navajo ceremonies, Hispanic fiestas, mining camps, First Communion classes, ranch house dances, Indian boarding school drill fields, high school social activities, and children's rodeos. Here we learn how class, religion, language, and race influenced the creation of distinct identities and ethnic boundaries, but also provided opportunities for cross-cultural interactions and intimacies. And we see the critical importance of education, in both reinforcing differences and opening a shared space for those differences to be experienced and bridged. In this, Adams's work offers a close-up view of the transformation of one multicultural community, but also of the transformation of childhood itself over the course of the twentieth century. A unique blend of oral, social, and childhood history, Three Roads to Magdalena is a rare living document of conflict and accommodation across ethnic boundaries in our ever-evolving multicultural society "-- Provided by publisher
Cultural pluralism--History  Search this
Hispanic Americans--Social life and customs  Search this
Whites--Social life and customs  Search this
Navajo Indians--Social life and customs  Search this
School children--History  Search this
Coming of age--History  Search this
Intercultural communication--History  Search this
Interviews  Search this
Ethnic relations  Search this
History  Search this
Data Source:
Smithsonian Libraries