Archer, Christon I(rving) 1940-
ARCHER, Christon I(rving) 1940-
Born August 24, 1940, in Victoria, British Columbia, Canada; married, 1965; children: two. Education: University of Victoria, British Columbia, B.A., 1965; State University of New York, Stony Brook, M.A., 1967, Ph.D., 1971.
Office—Department of History, University of Calgary, 2500 University Drive, N.W., Calgary, Alberta T2N 1N4, Canada. E-mail—[email protected].
University of Calgary, Alberta, Canada, assistant professor, 1969-73, associate professor, 1973-78, professor of history, 1978—.
American Historical Association, Conference on Latin American History, Canadian Association of Latin American Studies, Society for Spanish and Portuguese History Studies, Latin-American Studies Association.
Canada Council, resident fellow, 1974-75, leave fellow, 1977-78; Hebert E. Bolton Prize, 1979; American Historical Association Prize, Pacific Coast Branch, 1979; Killam fellow, 1980; Canadian Historical Review annual prize, 1980.
The Army in Bourbon Mexico, 1760-1810, University of New Mexico Press (Albuquerque, NM), 1977.
(Editor, with Timothy Travers) Men at War: Politics, Technology, and Innovation in the Twentieth Century, Precedent (Chicago, IL), 1982.
(Editor) The Wars of Independence in Spanish America, Scholarly Resources (Wilmington, DE), 2000.
(With others) World History of Warfare, University of Nebraska Press (Lincoln, NE), 2002.
(Editor) The Birth of Modern Mexico, 1780-1824, Scholarly Resources (Wilmington, DE), 2003.
Contributor to periodicals, including BC Studies, Journal of Latin-American Studies, Hispanic-American Historical Review, and Canadian Historical Review. Contributor to Rank and Privilege: The Military and Society in Latin America, edited by Linda Alexander Rodríguez, 1994.
A professor of history at the University of Calgary, Christon I. Archer specializes in the areas of Mexican and Spanish history and military history. His publications have treated such subjects as the Mexican army during Bourbon rule, banditry and guerilla warfare, the fight for independence in New Spain, and Spanish maritime exploration.
In The Army in Bourbon Mexico, 1760-1810 Archer exhibits extensive archival research on the Mexican colonial army under Bourbon rule during the period prior to independence. He shows the considerable hardships faced by Mexican soldiers, the difficulties the royal administration had in recruiting soldiers, and the fleeting autonomy of the army in New Spain. Reviewers described the book as a notable contribution to the period under study. In Choice, a reviewer called The Army in Bourbon Mexico, 1760-1810 "handsome and important," and remarked that it is "likely to become the definitive work on the subject." Allan J. Kuethe noted in the Hispanic-American Historical Review that although he found it "often vague conceptually," Archer's is still "an important book." Kuethe explained, "Its strength is its vivid portrayal of the human side of the military reform and broader Mexican society." In the American Historical Review, Nettie Lee Benson called the book a "carefully presented and thoroughly documented study" and said it "challenges many of the myths about the army in New Spain: its autonomy, its size, its fuero, the struggle between European Spaniards and ciollos for army commissions and so on."
Serving as editor of The Wars of Independence in Spanish America, Archer provides essays by established and new scholars to create a wide selection of perspectives on the wars against Spanish colonial forces. He also translates primary documents relating to these events. Critics commended the collection as a useful tool for understanding conflicts past and present. In the Journal of Military History, Kuethe credited Archer with an "insightful, provocative introduction" and remarked, "these essays go a long way toward showing why the odds for Spanish success in preserving the empire were so unfavorable." Peter Blanchard commented in the Hispanic-American Historical Review that the book is "a useful addition to [recent] reanalysis" of the independence period and features "a stimulating mix of primary and secondary materials." Blanchard concluded, "Archer has tried to force the reader to think, and for this—and his selection of readings—he is to be highly commended." In an online review for H-Net, Lance R. Blyth described the book's "major point" as being "that the rebellions, insurgencies, and counterinsurgencies that led to independence for Spanish America were wars in every sense of the word," and reflected that there are important similarities between these nineteenth-century events and the "low-intensity conflicts" and "ethnic" conflicts of contemporary times.
Archer's other works include collaborations with colleagues at the University of Calgary, the collection of essays titled Men at War: Politics, Technology, and Innovation in the Twentieth Century, and the textbook World History of Warfare. Men at War was described by Richard Nowicki in Library Journal as "a broad history of man at war" that used a "thoughtful, philosophical, multicultural" approach. Archer also edited The Birth of Modern Mexico, 1780-1824, which features essays on how the independence movement first took shape.
BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES:
American Historical Review, February, 1979, Nettie Lee Benson, review of The Army in Bourbon Mexico, 1760-1810, p. 288.
Choice, July, 1978, review of The Army in Bourbon Mexico, 1760-1810, p. 745.
Hispanic-American Historical Review, February, 1979, Allan J. Kuethe, review of The Army in Bourbon Mexico, 1760-1810, p. 145; May, 2001, Peter Blanchard, review of The Wars of Independence in Spanish America, pp. 367-368.
Journal of Military History, July, 2001, Allan J. Kuethe, review of The Wars of Independence in Spanish America, pp. 794-795; April, 2003, Jeremy Black, review of World History of Warfare, pp. 544-545.
Library Journal, October 1, 2002, Richard Nowicki, review of World History of Warfare, p. 112.
H-Net,http://www.h-net/ (November, 2000), Lance R. Blyth, review of The Wars of Independence in Spanish America. *