The Sad Literary State of the Californios

As part of my research into the disputed story of Juan Flores, I bought a copy of Cosas de California, reminisces by one Antonio Coronel (pictured, in the Joe Louis-at-Caesar's-Palace-phase of his life) where he touches briefly on Orange County's original dirty Mexican. I thought it was going to be a difficult get since most older texts regarding California history fall out of print or find new life as expensive university publications, but there it is on Amazon, cheap. What came to me, however, was just another insult heaped on the Californios.

The publication was fine--complete, with liner notes and footnotes. But it's presented as a children's book, featuring illustrations a couple of lines removed from Dora the Explorer. The Newport Beach Public Library has a copy in its children's section, when it really belongs alongside more "serious" histories upstairs. I guess such a classification for eyewitness Californio accounts isn't surprising--ridiculed in their time, now, and forever as a bunch of dumb Mexicans. The more things change...

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