Journey to the Sun: Junipero Serra’s Dream and the Founding of California
The life of Father Junipero Serra – born Miguel Serre in 1712 on the small Spanish island of Mallorca, died 1784 in Carmel, California – is the essential story of the eighteenth century: a tale of exploration, imperialism, and the growing importance of the New World. Serra left his mark everywhere in California, when at the age of 34 he left a successful career as a priest in Spain to travel the isolated Spanish colonies of the Americas. Serra traveled throughout what is now Mexico and the US Southwest, founding missions from Baja California to Mission Dolores in San Francisco. The mission system profoundly impacted the native population, separating families and forcing workers to labor at the missions and leave behind their traditions – all with the goal to save souls, and convert the heathen nations. In this book, Orfalea manages to capture the viewpoints of both the native Californians and of Serra, a devout and dedicated priest who nonetheless lived a complex and not always praise-worthy life. Orfalea, who writes fiction as well as non-fiction, brings an elegant turn of phrase to his retelling of Serra’s life, the missions he founded, and the world of early California.
After editing at City Book Review for a few years, I took up the duties of editorial assistant, which include assigning books for review, posting reviews to our various sites, and nagging reviewers for things. In my non-nagging time, I’m a gamer, artist, writer, and notorious black thumb/bane of plants. My answer to every book-related question: read Octavia Butler.
|Page Count||480 pages|
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