The late Edna Kimbro was a renowned architectural conservator and historian, and a founding member of the California Mission Studies Association. Julia Castello is an internationally recognized expert on archaeology and cultural resources.
"Each generation must reassess the history, architecture, art, and moral meaning of the California Missions. This sumptuous book - a landmark in the revival of Mission studies currently underway - will guide and structure all such assessments and preservation efforts for decades to come."--Kevin Starr, University of Southern California, author of the multivolume cultural history Americans and the California Dream
"No other single work offers a comparable wealth of information about the missions of California, all of which is superbly organized and clearly presented. This authoritative yet accessible volume offers readers a compelling and balanced account of the founding and early history of the missions, the birth and growth of the mission myth, and modern preservation efforts, as well as concise historical profiles of individual missions. A noteworthy achievement."--Rose Marie Beebe, Santa Clara University, coauthor of Lands of Promise and Despair: Chronicles of Early California and Testimonios: Early California through the Eyes of Women
"The California missions endure as wondrous monuments, inviting us to ponder what happened there, and in this splendid book they receive the eloquent, multilayered chronicle they deserve. Evincing a sharp eye for ambiguous and contradictory narratives, understanding that the missions have dramatically different meanings to different people, and acknowledging Californians' enigmatic reverence for these special places, the authors have fashioned a nuanced, loving and visually sumptuous telling of the missions' origins and demise, crumbling and restoration, and persistence in California's complex historical memory. One thrills to hear the passions voiced in these places over the years, of the Indians and priests, boosters and restorationists, fictionalizers and fact-finders, and to feast our eyes on the paintings and photographs in this superb illustrated history."--Douglas Monroy, Colorado College, author of Thrown Among Strangers: The Making of Mexican Culture in Frontier California