Thursday, September 27, 2007

The Master of Monterey

I am reading a novel called The Master of Monterey by Lawrence Coates, whom I know from grad school. It's a great magical/realist/historical story about the seizure of Monterey by a U.S. Navy ship in 1842. Jones mistakenly thought the U.S. was at war with Mexico, and the conquest lasted three days. There's a plaque in Monterey commemorating this event, so I'll have to look for it. It's a comic episode in history and even funnier in the novel, which also manages to be a powerful attack on colonialism, manifest destiny, etc. Now's as good a time as any to make fun of American delusions.

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