In Strangers on Familiar Soil, Edward Dallam Melillo shows how Californians and Chileans each have one foot on their land and the other connecting them through the Pacific Ocean. Melillo reframes our understanding of US history in the west and links the histories and destinies of Chile and California from 1786 to the current day. Contrary to popular belief, Melillo asserts that California was built by more than westward migration during expansionism in the US. It was also built by influences from Chileans or Chilenos whose country was the last stop after coming around the horn of South America before sailing north to California. At least 56% of all ships from Europe or the eastern US stopped at a Chilean port. Such data suggest that zones of historical migration and arenas of intercultural contact are not always borderlands. They are…”where land and water converge.” Anyone from these places or who has an interest in Chile or California may want to read this book to gain new insights into their origins. This book would also be an excellent choice for graduate and undergraduate students or history buffs looking for a quick read.
Penaluna, Brooke 2016. The histories and destinies of Chile and California. Book Review: Melillo, Edward Dallam. Strangers on familiar soil strangers on familiar soil. Yale University Press, New Haven, CT. ISBN 978-0-300-20662-3. 325 p. Northwest Science. 90(4): 498-499. https://doi.org/10.3955/046.090.0410.