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The California Missions
by Rubén G. Mendoza ; photography by Melba Levick

This dense, richly illustrated chronicle traces the architectural, archeological, religious, and cultural histories of all 21 of missions. The book is the culmination of Rubén G. Mendoza’s lifelong fascination with the missions, which started when he was nine years old on a school field trip to Mission San Juan Bautista. Dealing with the oldest of building types in the state didn’t preclude the influence of current events. Shortly after Cal State Monterey Bay professor Mendoza and photographer Melba Levick embarked on the book project, Pope Francis announced the somewhat controversial canonization of mission founder FatherJun?peroSerra, and Mendoza was even summoned to the Vatican as an expert witness. After an introduction to their Mexican antecedents, the book explores the California missions in chronological order, starting with San Diego in 1769 through Sonoma in 1823. Detailed history and descriptive captions give a sense of on-site discovery. The contact info for all the missions at the back of the book aids in turning that sense into a reality.

Rizzoli New York; 2018; 256 pages; hardcover; $55.

 

 

 

 
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