Praise for Properties of Violence

 

 

“The story Correia tells is rich and deep and full of struggle. . . . “Given the long history of efforts to remove land grant heirs from Tierra Amarilla”, Correia writes (p. 166), “it is important to take seriously the ways in which legal authorities have reworked tactics of removal. The police violence of the [Sheriff] Naranjo regime and the frequent claims that land grant activists are domestic terrorists calls into question the claim of law enforcement officials that they do nothing more than uphold the law. Any distinction between lawmaking and law preserving or claims of law’s objectivity and neutrality collapse under the weight of a history of violence against land grant members”. As Correia makes clear this is a lesson – a truth – far larger than the story of Tierra Amarilla. The great advantage of Properties of Violence is that through deep historical research and brilliant storytelling Correia makes this larger truth plain for all of us while at the same time providing a rich history of this specific territory and its long history of unquiet title. This is engaged, critical, historical geography as it ought to be done.” 

—Don Mitchell, Distinguished Professor of Geography at Syracuse University and the author of They Saved the Crops: Labor, Landscape, and the Struggle over Industrial Farming in Bracero-Era California

Read Don Mitchell’s complete review in the Journal Antipode

 

Perhaps the most original and gripping part of the book is the connections that Correia draws between Tijerina and Corky Gonzales and then between Tijerina’s group and Fuerzas Armadas de Liberacion Nacional (FALN). Here he brilliantly looks at the larger context of the 1960s and 1970s social movements and the role that J. Edgar Hoover and the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s COINTELPRO program played in undermining and monitoring these groups. This book is really the first thorough account that shows how Tijerina fit into the larger world of Chicano activism as well as broader social movements such as the Black Panthers and the Young Lords. Tijerina has most often been portrayed by historians as almost a cartoon character, both menacing and ineffective. By looking at the specifics of how his organization was created and how he built it based on an earlier history of activism and despair, Correia provides a meaningful look at this activism and the violence that emerged out of this group... [This] is an elegantly written and deeply researched book. Correia gracefully drives the reader across more than three hundred years of historical narrative to reveal groups of people who enacted ideas about property and agency on the land they thought of as their home, even if the legal system said otherwise. This book is filled with vibrant historical actors whom Correia skillfully brings to life, warts and all.

—Maria Montoya, Associate Professor of History at New York University and the author of Translating Property: The Maxwell Land Grant and the Conflict Over Land in the American West, 1840-1920

                  

 

“David Correia’ s elegant introduction mobilizes theory from critical legal studies and geography to shed exciting new light on the fraught history of struggles over the ownership and control of Spanish and Mexican communal land grants in the US Southwest over more than 150 years. He persuasively argues that law and property were mutually constituted, neither operating as transcendent or autonomous, always mobilized by particular parties, with violence enmeshed in each. He illustrates that argument with illuminating, accessible and engaging accounts of particular contests over one of the largest communal land grants, the Tierra Amarilla grant.”

—Sara Deutsch is a professor of History at Duke University and the author of No Separate Refuge: Culture, Class, and Gender on an Anglo-Hispanic Frontier, 188-1940

"David Correia writes against the grain in his wonderful excavation of one site in New Mexico to reveal property as a site for struggle and ordering, crosscut with colonialism, race, and class. Property emerges as a live, active, and vitally important concept."
—Nicholas Blomley is a professor in the Dept. of Geography at Simon Fraser University and the author of Unsettling the City: Urban Land and the Politics of Property 

 

"Properties of Violence is a smart, original, and vibrant retelling of the history of land struggle in northern New Mexico. . . . Moreover, it is a refreshingly well-written book, nimbly walking the difficult terrain between meticulous scholarship and well-crafted prose that makes it ideal for both the seasoned academic and anyone interested in a riveting story of violence, political struggles, and the very meaning of property."
—Jake Kosek, assistant professor of geography at the University of California, Berkeley and the author of Understories: The Political Life of Forests in Northern New Mexico

"Correia has written a fast-paced, interesting, enjoyable, and academically rigorous book that tells a story of injustice in impeccably precise terms."

—Lorena Oropeza is an associate professor of history at the University of California, Davis and the author of ¡Raza Sí! ¡Guerra No!: Chicano Protest and Patriotism during the Viet Nam War Era

 

“Correia’s remarkable book is not just about New Mexico, not just about land grants. Properties of Violence presents a way of conceiving of property as a mobile, fungible, plastic set of social relations. It offers a process legal geography, not one solely fixated on the “product” of land grants injustices. It rightly counter-poses land grants activists as active, rather than passive, participants in the on-going redefinition of land as property in northern New Mexico.”

—Eric Perramond is an Associate Professor of Southwest Studies at Colorado College and the author of Political Ecologies of Cattle Ranching in Northern Mexico: Private Revolutions

 

 

“Correia’s focus on the resistance of the subaltern subjects of the Tierra Amarilla land grant is vivid throughout the book... His analysis of primary sources, including land grant petitions, personal letters, surveyor reports, court petitions and testimonies, newspaper articles and notices, and personal interviews, as well as arguments linking historical and contemporary social relationships through law and property make this an important contribution to conducting an anthropology of contemporary New Mexico.”

—Cristobal Valencia, Journal of Anthropological Research

 

“Correia has painstakingly researched the topic and produced a well-organized and clearly written account. This is a must-read for historians of the American Southwest and a significant contribution to New Mexico history.”

—Kathleen P. Chamberlain is a Professor of History at Eastern Michigan University and the author of In the Shadow of Billy the Kid: Susan McSween and the Lincoln County War

                  

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