California's Founding Father

Junípero Serra
California’s Founding Father
Steven W. Hackel
Hill and Wang, $27, 327 pp.

Junípero Serra’s Dream and the Founding of California
Gregory Orfalea
Scribner, $30, 480 pp.

To mark the three-hundredth anniversary of the birth of Padre Junípero Serra (1713–84), Stephen W. Hackel and Gregory Orfalea have each written critical biographies of the pioneering California missionary....

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About the Author

Patrick Jordan is a former managing editor of Commonweal.