Mission: The Story of Building on a Frontier

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Roger Kennedy is very much a historian for our time. Never content with a mere sequence of facts, figures, and events, he brings to his subject the voice of an interpreter and storyteller, ranging back and forth in time and space, blending the many and various aspects of human endeavor into the pattern we call history. This fascinating story of the missions of North America traces the long trail of "the friars [who] went forth from Catholic Europe to gain converts among the American Indians ... to colonize ...
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Larkin, David Boston 1993 Hardcover 1st Edition New in New jacket Book. 4to-over 9?-12" tall. This is a New and Unread copy of the first edition (1st printing). In a new dust ... jacket. Read more Show Less

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Overview

Roger Kennedy is very much a historian for our time. Never content with a mere sequence of facts, figures, and events, he brings to his subject the voice of an interpreter and storyteller, ranging back and forth in time and space, blending the many and various aspects of human endeavor into the pattern we call history. This fascinating story of the missions of North America traces the long trail of "the friars [who] went forth from Catholic Europe to gain converts among the American Indians ... to colonize America for Spain and thereafter to deny its riches to any other power." The missions themselves represent a unique example of building on a frontier, memorializing a "grand endeavor": the westward extension of the great Crusades to the East. The book begins with a discussion of the religious context of the mission-building period and goes on to draw vivid historical portraits of the participants, both European and American. Kennedy describes the specific architectural features - domes, cloisters, ribats - that resulted from the merging of cultural forces. Finally, Kennedy serves as a witty and urbane tour guide through each of the most important mission buildings, from the traces of ruins in Florida to the glory of the restoration of La Purisima Concepcion in California.

In a uniquely fascinating history of the missions of North America, Kennedy serves as a witty and urbane tour guide through the some of the most unusual and romantic architecture in the American landscape, from crumbling ruins in Florida to the restored La Purisima in California.

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Editorial Reviews

Library Journal
More than just another popularized how-the-West-once-was photographic treatise, this guide traces the development of New World mission architecture from Mediterranean antecedents to Florida and California. The beautifully designed book introduces the exquisite photographs with heavily historical sections that place mission building within religious, geographic, and cultural contexts. Director emeritus of the National Museum of American History and a prolific scholar, Kennedy chooses a lively, unpedantic style to describe specific architectural features and buildings. Diagrams, maps, and a glossary of terms are also useful. This dazzling production will be of interest to general and research collections alike.-- Russell T. Clement, Brigham Young Univ. Lib., Provo, Ut.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780395634165
  • Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company
  • Publication date: 11/2/1993
  • Pages: 240
  • Product dimensions: 10.20 (w) x 10.31 (h) x 1.07 (d)

Table of Contents

Introduction 17
Pt. I The Religious Mission
Between the Tangible and the Intangible 21
Between Two Religious Systems 28
Pt. II The Participants
Who Were the Indians? 30
Who Were the Spaniards? 34
Pt. III The Architectural Mission
The Mediterranean Contribution 53
In the New World 75
Pt. IV Along the Mission Frontier
Florida and the Islands 107
Sonora and Its Colonies, California and Arizona 113
The Rio Grande 133
The Californias 169
Summing Up 223
Map: The Spread of Missions 224
A Mission from Above 228
The Apse of a Mission Church 230
Glossary 232
Appendix: Some Rediscovered Architects and Artisans 234
Notes 234
Bibliography 236
Acknowledgments 238
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