the William P. Clements Prize for the Best Non-Fiction
Book on Southwestern America Published in 2009
The Father of
The de la Guerra Family,
Power, and Patriarchy in
Huntington Library and the University
of California Press
Thursday, November 8,
reception followed by 6:30 pm lecture
followed by book signing
The DeGolyer Library (6404 Hilltop Lane) on
the campus of Southern Methodist
University, Dallas, Texas
Co-sponsored with Friends of the SMU
Libraries and the DeGolyer Library at
Southern Methodist University
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
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 co-published by the Huntington Library
and University of California Press.
Louise Pubols is Chief Curator of the History
Department of the Oakland Museum of California.
Comments from the Judging Committee:
Father of All] concentrates on one family the book
reveals layers of California social and economic history
like nothing else I can think of."
"I was impressed with Pubols'
skill as a narrative historian--not the usual genre for
a first book. While clearly focused on the extended de
la Guerra family, Pubols offers an integrated history of
Spanish and Mexican California and interventions into
the scholarly debates over patriarchy."
"Although [The Father of
All] focuses on one (albeit large and extended) family,
it represents the culmination of years of painstaking
local research on the de la Guerra family and offers a
much more complicated or nuanced picture of the eventual
displacement of Mexican influence in California than we
have had to date."
$2,500 David J. Weber-Clements Book Prize honors fine writing and
original research on the American Southwest. The
competition is open to any nonfiction book, including
biography, on any aspect of Southwestern life, past or
present. The William P. Clements Center for Southwest
Studies is part of SMU's Dedman College and affiliated
with the Department of History. It was created to
promote research, publishing, teaching and public
programming in a variety of fields related to the
American Southwest. For more information about the
Center or about the upcoming book prize event, please
call (214) 768-3684 or see http://smu.edu/swcenter/BookPrize.htm.