Almost an Island: Travels in Baja California

Bruce Berger, Author
Bruce Berger, Author University of Arizona Press $17.95 (211p) ISBN 978-0-8165-1902-6
Reviewed on: 06/29/1998
Release date: 07/01/1998
Hardcover - 211 pages - 978-0-8165-1901-9
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While the natural marvels of the 800-mile-long Mexican peninsula called Baja California are not scanted in this freewheeling exploration, it's the human inhabitants that underscore its uniqueness. Berger, award-winning author of The Telling Distance (1990), erstwhile piano player ready for adventure, chronicles his three-decade love affair with this timeless landscape of desert, lagoons, caves and remote ranges, as well as the people of its cities and towns. One of those cities is LaPaz in Baja California Sur, to which a third of the book is devoted. (""LaPaz was one of those places that bored the tourist while whispering to a struck minority: here you must live."") As a resident foreigner whose affection does not close his eyes to contemporary societal evils, Berger is an objective observer. As a ""specialist in the state of Baja California,"" he treats the reader to a pithy history of the upper and lower peninsula, with views of the Spanish colonizers, the controversial missionaries, especially the Jesuits, and the ongoing flinty relationship of the U.S. and this Mexican territory. Berger the raconteur entertains as he cautions against the intrusions made possible by paved roads and highways. (Sept.)
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