Historian Louise Pubols presents a rich and nuanced study of a key family in California's past: the de la Guerras of Santa Barbara. Amid sweeping economic and political changes, including the U.S.Mexican War, the de la Guerra family continually adapted and reinvented themselves. This absorbing narrative is much more than the history of an elite and powerful family, however. Pubols analyzes the region's trading and provisioning economy and clarifies its volatile political rivalries. By tracing a web of business and family relationships, Pubols shows in practical terms how patriarchy functioned from generation to generation in Spanish and Mexican California. This is the first of a series of books on western history to be copublished by the Huntington Library and University of California Press.