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Changing National Identities at the Frontier


  • 12 maps
  • Page extent: 326 pages
  • Size: 228 x 152 mm
  • Weight: 0.65 kg

Library of Congress

  • Dewey number: 976.4/05
  • Dewey version: 22
  • LC Classification: F390 .R46 2005
  • LC Subject headings:
    • Texas--History--To 1846
    • New Mexico--History--To 1848
    • Mexican War, 1846-1848--Social aspects
    • Frontier and pioneer life--Texas
    • Frontier and pioneer life--New Mexico

Library of Congress Record


 (ISBN-13: 9780521835558 | ISBN-10: 0521835550)

This book explores how the diverse and fiercely independent peoples of Texas and New Mexico came to think of themselves as members of one particular national community or another in the years leading up to the Mexican-American War. Hispanics, Native Americans, and Anglo Americans made agonizing and crucial identity decisions against the backdrop of two structural transformations taking place in the region during the first half of the nineteenth century and often pulling in opposite directions. On the one hand, the Mexican government sought to bring its frontier inhabitants into the national fold by relying on administrative and patronage linkages; but on the other, Mexico's northern frontier gravitated toward the expanding American economy.

• First truly transnational narrative working across geographic and disciplinary boundaries • Analyzes identity dilemmas of a seemingly personal nature and links them to large structural transformations which consituted the greater dilemma • The book is structured in a way that minimizes repetition and maximizes clarity and readability


1. Carved spaces: Mexico's far north, the American southwest, or Indian domains?; 2. A nation made visible: patronage, power, and ritual; 3. The spirit of mercantile enterprise; 4. The Benediction of the Roman ritual; 5. The Texas Revolution and the not-so-secret history of shifting loyalties; 6. The fate of Governor Albino Pérez; 7. State, market, and literary cultures; 8. New Mexico at the razor's edge.


'Historians routinely call for a new, transnational history; Andres Reséndez has simply gone ahead and written one. Grounded in both the history of Mexico and the history of the United States, Changing National Identities at the Frontier recontextualizes familiar stories and events and, in doing so, alters their meaning. This is an important book whose influence should go far beyond both Mexican and American history. Richard White, Stanford University

'… there are enormous benefits to be derived from bringing New Mexico and Texas close together in this sustained comparative scrutiny - one that should interest scholars across a variety of fields and disciplines …Andrés Reséndez, equally at home himself on both sides of the border, has accomplished a remarkable feat, taking us further than any historical writer yet into the minds of the diverse characters who inhabited Mexico's turbulent northern borderlands in the early nineteenth century. The 'risky eclecticism' which he has employed in this task has paid off richly - but then there's nothing like hard work and clear thinking to reduce the risks inevitably incurred in path-breaking scholarship.' James E. Crisp, North Carolina State University

'This is an eagerly awaited update and extension of an earlier classic. … The book is written with the authority of two established authors with a combined wealth of experience in both the subject and also (importantly) in its communication to a wide audience. … The result if a book that will appeal to a wide range of readers from both undergraduate and postgraduate students, to foresters, ecologists and land managers. A colleague has 'tested' this with undergraduates and is highly pleased with the result. I'm sure this will be a classic text for a range of readers for many years to come.' Arboricultural Journal

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