Refusing the Favor

Refusing the Favor : Spanish-Mexican Women of Santa Fe, 1820-1880

3.81 (11 ratings by Goodreads)

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Refusing the Favor tells the little-known story of the Spanish-Mexican women who saw their homeland become part of New Mexico. A corrective to traditional narratives of the period, it carefully and lucidly documents the effects of colonization, looking closely at how the women lived both before and after the United States took control of the region. Focusing on Santa Fe, which was long one of the largest cities west of the Mississippi, Deena Gonzalez demonstrates that women's responses to the conquest were remarkably diverse and that their efforts to preserve their culture were complex and long-lasting. Drawing on a range of sources, from newspapers to wills, deeds, and court records, Gonzalez shows that the change to U.S. territorial status did little to enrich or empower the Spanish-Mexican inhabitants. The vast majority, in fact, found themselves quickly impoverished, and this trend toward low-paid labor, particularly for women, continues even today. Gonzalez both examines the lonshow more

Product details

  • Paperback | 206 pages
  • 157.48 x 226.06 x 15.24mm | 317.51g
  • Oxford University Press Inc
  • New York, United States
  • English
  • Revised ed.
  • 8 figures, 2 maps
  • 0195145941
  • 9780195145946

Review quote

This book is an engaging study that furthers knowledge of western history and women's lives in the West ... Recommended for undergraduates and general readers. * Choice * Eloquent and thought provoking ... One of the greatest strengths of Gonzalez's book is its rootedness in her personal history ... Another great strength of Gonzalez's book emerges in her last chapter, which analyzes recent trends in western American history. * The Journal of American History * An eloquent exercise in micro-history ... The overall effect is a subtle picture which presents an essentially human history in all its eloquent and often contradictory detail. The idea of using the court records is exemplary, revealing much about women's social attitudes and status, their survival strategies and their ability and willingness to use the system to protect their rights. As a result, the research succeeds not just in rescuing a forgotten history, but also in challenging the accepted histories of the American West and the tendency to romanticize and generalize from the often badly used statistics ... micro-history at its best. * Bulletin of Spanish Studies * ... a rich textural narrative of life in nineteenth-century New Mexico. * Journal of Latin American Studies * Gonzalez harnesses the interpretive powers of the folklorist, the historian's sensibility to shifting contexts, and the evocative skills of the writer to portray women's lives within and against backdrops of economic dislocation. * Journal of Latin American Studies * Refusing the Favor will take its place as a classic among the invaluable new revisionist and feminist scholarship on the American West. Gonzalez's resolution of the methodological and narrative dilemmas of this genre is exemplary and her conclusions offer convincing evidence that a gendered perspective is essential for understanding the broader history of any region and its people, particularly in situations of conquest and colonisation. * Journal of Latin American Studies *show more

Table of contents

Prologue ; 1. Women in the Courts: Conformity and Dissonance before the War, 1821-1846 ; 2. Women under Siege: Sexuality and the Gendered Economies of Colonization, 1840-1852 ; 3. Women's Survival Strategies: Gifts and Giving as Methods of Resistance, 1846-1880 ; 4. The Politics of Disidentification and Recuperation: Notations about the "New" Western American History ; Epilogue ; Notes ; Bibliography ; Indexshow more

Rating details

11 ratings
3.81 out of 5 stars
5 27% (3)
4 36% (4)
3 27% (3)
2 9% (1)
1 0% (0)
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