Cover Image

Storied Land

Community and Memory in Monterey

John Walton (Author)

Available worldwide

Paperback, 361 pages
ISBN: 9780520227231
December 2003
$31.95, £26.95

Storied Land is not only an important record of events--it is also a powerful and innovative investigation of how historical narratives are produced. Walton looks at how Franciscan missionaries and military governors created competing historical narratives of "civilizing" the Native American population. He explores changing historical conditions that generate successive narratives of Yankee progress, Spanish romance, and working-class Cannery Row. Today the nostalgic story of early California competes with political activists' conceptions of environmental protection and ethnic diversity. Walton uses these historical examples to examine the larger issues of collective memory, arguing that history is a product of the interplay of events and narratives.
List of Tables and Figures
1. Introduction
2. Spain's Far Frontier
3. Revolutionary California
4. American Property
5. Industry and Community
6. The Historical Present
7. Conclusion: Action, Narrative, History
John Walton is a Professor of Sociology at the University of California, Davis. He is also the author of Reluctant Rebels (1984), Free Markets and Food Riots (1994), and the award- winning Western Times and Water Wars: State, Culture, and Rebellion in California (California, 1992).
“A dynamic inquiry into Monterey’s storied past . . . is compelling and illuminates the interplay of history.”—Journal Of The West
"John Walton never writes predictable books, and Monterey, California, is not a predictable place; the pairing is perfect. Although rooted in Monterey, this book explores how people in general construct historical narratives. Storied Land is as thought-provoking a discussion of public history and what it means to tell stories about the past as anything that I have read."—Richard White, author of Remembering Ahanagran: A History of Stories

"With deep research, shrewd analysis, and vivid writing, John Walton reveals how we live in a web of competing stories that connect future and present to a contested past. In recovering the particular riches of Monterey's literally storied past, Walton finds universal experiences of labor, resistance, loss, and silencing. His own masterful storytelling lets us develop a fuller, more humane tie to the people of our past."—Alan Taylor, author of the Pulitzer Prize-winning William Cooper's Town: Power and Persuasion on the Frontier of the Early American Republic

"In the borderlands between archived event and public memory, John Walton has found a pathway to understanding the process whereby a community remembers, forgets, denies, affirms, or otherwise structures or re-structures its understanding of itself. Excavating a region and a city important to Native American, Spanish, Mexican, and American California, A Storied Land makes a welcomed contribution to California studies and the larger history and sociology of place."—Kevin Starr, author of Inventing the Dream: California Through the Progressive Era

"Once again, John Walton has turned the facts about California into a compelling narrative and a profound meditation on the nature of history and collective memory."—Howard Becker, author of Art Worlds

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