The argument justifying the men’s actions was the best interests of the child. Clifton/Morenci, Arizona, was a "wild West" boomtown, where the mines and smelters pulled in thousands of Mexican immigrant workers. The class was divided fairly evenly among those who liked the structure of the book, those who liked the story but not the contextual chapters, and those who liked the contextual chapters but thought the story was irrelevant. But, with adoption less regulated and controlled as it is now, this seemed at the time like a viable alternative. That's what the book is for.
This episode in Arizona history built upon the groundwork for the economic, political and racial views that founded the state, established it's elite classes, defined both the citizens and the non-citizens by color, religion and status, empowered women, particularly Anglo women, and drove the mining companies in the mountains in the Clifton-Morenci areas to achieve great wealth. She has done her research, and the story she has written breathes life as a dragon breathes fire, burning sometimes accidentally, though oftentimes intentionally.
However, she is quick to point out that they may not be representative and that they only illustrate that what makes good parenting is difficult to determine. In 1904 a young Catholic priest from France serving a parish in a copper mining camp in the mountains of Arizona helped the New York Foundling Hospital arrange for placements of Irish American orphans in his parish. There are strains of religion in this book as well since the criteria for the sisters of the order were good catholic homes. I was, therefore, surprised to find that the book was historical in nature, totally meant for adults, and actually classified in the Dewey Decimal Classification system at 308.5, Ethnic and National Group.
However, the Anglos saw the children as white. by Harvard University Press. Linda Gordon. What happened next is the subject of historian Linda Gordon’s compelling new book: For their act of Christian charity, the nuns were rewarded with near-lynching and public vilification of an intensity hard to fathom today. I have some very conflicting views about this book. It is an ingenious narrative device that enables her to reconstitute the distinct social structures of the area while rendering a taut journalistic account of the unfolding drama… The magnificence of her achievement [is] her masterly assembly of historical detail and acute sensitivity to the intricacies of human relations as mediated by power, prejudice and the passing of time.”—Stephen Lassonde, The New York Times Book Review, “Written in the lush prose and plots of a Joseph Conrad novel, Linda Gordon’s The Great Arizona Orphan Abduction is [an] extraordinary chronicle… More than an isolated case of frontier vigilantism, the affair swirled into the national headlines, fanning the flames of the caustic debate over religion and race… Peeling off the overlapping intrigues, issues, and players of the incident with the precision of a historical detective, Gordon, a leading social historian on issues of gender and family, goes far beyond the question of blatant racism in a racist epoch to examine the cultural and historical makeup that allowed the affair to happen in the first place… Her meticulously researched and reasoned chronicle is a masterwork of historical analysis that deserves to remain on bookshelves far into the future.”—Jeff Biggers, Bloomsbury Review, “If Gordon’s book did nothing more than redeem from obscurity the story of the Arizona orphans, it would be an extraordinary contribution to social history.
The fact that minority (i.e., IRISH Catholic) white orphans were in the middle of a tug-of-war (truthfully, the Mexicans weren't tugging very hard. 36 halftones in one 24 page insert, 2 maps, 1 table, “In her gripping book, The Great Arizona Orphan Abduction, Linda Gordon has written a model study of the creation and maintenance of race relations that manages to capture both the breathless sensationalism of the era’s tabloids and the complexity of social status, shifting racial codes and the multiple uses of sex roles in social action… Gordon divides her story into six scenes, most of them devoted to some portion of the four days when the orphans’ arrival engulfed Clifton-Morenci in a near riot followed by a mass kidnapping.
Are those same powers still exerting those impacts?
I also question some of Gordon's stylistic choices and methodology. Retrieve credentials. However, who decides that? A great deal of research went into the story, which is admirable, but make it hard to read through to the end. They got white on the train to Arizona. Carp, Choice, “Gordon, drawing on interviews, newspapers, and the court transcript, recreates the kidnapping and the ensuing courtroom drama in intoxicating detail. But, to turn this story into a textbook of the failings of the human societal condition in 1904, supported by studies and data about every negative aspect of the American experiment, is NOT the way this story should have been approached. RELEASE DATE: Jan. 16, 2006. Soon the town's Anglos, furious at this "interracial" transgression, formed a vigilante squad that kidnapped the children and nearly lynched the nuns and the local priest. There are strains of religion in this book as well since the criteria for the sisters of the order were good catholic homes.