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Landscapes of Fraud: Mission Tumacacori, the Baca Float, and the Betrayal of the O'Odham (Environmental History of the Borderlands)

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Landscapes of Fraud: Mission Tumacacori, the Baca Float, and the Betrayal of the O'Odham (Environmental History of the Borderlands) Cover

 

Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

From the actions of Europeans in the seventeenth century to the real estate deals of the modern era, people making a living off the land in southern Arizona have been repeatedly robbed of their way of life. History has recorded more than three centuries of speculative failures that never amounted to much but left dispossessed people in their wake. This book seeks to excavate those failures, to examine the new social spaces the schemers struggled to create and the existing social spaces they destroyed. Landscapes of Fraud explores how the penetration of the evolving capitalist world-system created and destroyed communities in the Upper Santa Cruz Valley of Arizona from the late 1600s to the 1970s. Thomas Sheridan has melded history, anthropology, and critical geography to create a penetrating view of greed and power and their lasting effect on those left powerless. Sheridan first examines how Oodham culture was fragmented by the arrival of the Spanish, telling how autonomous communities moving across landscapes in seasonal rounds were reduced to a mission world of subordination. Sheridan then considers the fate of the Tumacácori grant and Baca Float No. 3, another land grant. He tells the unbroken story of land fraud from Manuel María Gándaras purchase of the “abandoned” Tumacácori grant at public auction in 1844 through the bankruptcy of the shady real estate developers who had fraudulently promoted housing projects at Rio Rico during the 1960s and 70s. As the Upper Santa Cruz Valley underwent a wrenching transition from a landscape of community to a landscape of fraud, the betrayal of the Oodham became complete when land, that most elemental form of human space, was transformed from a communal resource into a commodity bought and sold for its future value. Today, Mission Tumacácori stands as a romantic icon of the past while the landscapes that supported it lay buried under speculative schemes that continue to haunt our history.

Book News Annotation:

Developers' greed of the 1970s almost pales in comparison with that of European colonizers in the seventeenth century, and the American pioneers of the nineteenth century, at least in the case of the area now known as the Upper Santa Cruz Valley in Arizona. As Sheridan (anthropology, U. of Arizona and the Southwest Center) explains, the area has been host to land fraud after land fraud, each of which has served to further decimate the O'odham people and their way of life. As the Spanish moved in, so did stasis and subordination; as the market system grew into the American heart, so did the ability to sell land and the lives upon it as various con artists got their hands on agricultural and personal properties; finally, the relatively few O'odham who remained had no recourse but to watch as shady deals by developers collapsed around them. Annotation ©2006 Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)

Synopsis:

From the actions of Europeans in the seventeenth century to the real estate deals of the modern era, people making a living off the land in southern Arizona have been repeatedly robbed of their way of life. History has recorded more than three centuries of speculative failures that never amounted to much but left dispossessed people in their wake. This book seeks to excavate those failures, to examine the new social spaces the schemers struggled to create and the existing social spaces they destroyed.

About the Author

Thomas E. Sheridan holds a joint appointment as professor of Anthropology at the Southwest Center and the Department of Anthropology at the University of Arizona. He has authored or co-edited eleven other books.

Product Details

ISBN:
9780816525133
Publisher:
University of Arizona Press
Subject:
History
Author:
Sheridan, Thomas E.
Subject:
Missions
Subject:
Ethnic Studies - Native American Studies
Subject:
United States - State & Local - General
Subject:
United States - State & Local - Southwest
Subject:
Native American
Subject:
Tohono O'Odham Indians -- History.
Subject:
Land tenure - Santa
Subject:
Anthropology, Native American Studies
Subject:
World History-General
Edition Description:
Hardcover
Series:
Environmental History of the Borderlands
Publication Date:
20060331
Binding:
HARDCOVER
Grade Level:
Professional and scholarly
Language:
English
Illustrations:
Y
Pages:
316
Dimensions:
9 x 6 in

Related Subjects

History and Social Science » Americana » Arizona
History and Social Science » Native American » General Native American Studies
History and Social Science » World History » General

Landscapes of Fraud: Mission Tumacacori, the Baca Float, and the Betrayal of the O'Odham (Environmental History of the Borderlands)
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Product details 316 pages University of Arizona Press - English 9780816525133 Reviews:
"Synopsis" by , From the actions of Europeans in the seventeenth century to the real estate deals of the modern era, people making a living off the land in southern Arizona have been repeatedly robbed of their way of life. History has recorded more than three centuries of speculative failures that never amounted to much but left dispossessed people in their wake. This book seeks to excavate those failures, to examine the new social spaces the schemers struggled to create and the existing social spaces they destroyed.
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