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Vanderwood, Paul J. 1929- (Paul Joseph Vanderwood)

Vanderwood, Paul J. 1929- (Paul Joseph Vanderwood)

PERSONAL:

Born June 3, 1929, in Brooklyn, NY; son of Joseph and Mildred Vanderwood. Education: Bethany College, Bethany, WV, B.A., 1950; New York University, graduate study, 1953-54; Memphis State University, M.A., 1957; University of Texas at Austin, Ph.D., 1970.

ADDRESSES:

Home—San Diego, CA. Office—Department of History, San Diego State University, San Diego, CA 92182.

CAREER:

Historian, educator, and writer. Memphis Press-Scimitar, Memphis, TN, reporter, 1954-63; Peace Corps evaluator, 1963; San Diego State University, San Diego, CA, from assistant professor to professor of history, beginning 1969. Member of Conference on Latin American History, American Film Institute, and of Pacific Coast and Rocky Mountain Councils of Latin American Studies. Military service: U.S. Army, 1951-63; became lieutenant.

MEMBER:

Border Studies Association.

AWARDS, HONORS:

National Association of State and Local History award, 1971; Hubert B. Herring Award, Pacific Coast Council of Latin American Studies, 1976, 1981; exceptional service merit awards, San Diego State University, 1984, 1987.

WRITINGS:

Night Riders of Reelfoot Lake, Memphis State University Press (Memphis, TN), 1969, reprinted, University of Alabama Press (Tuscaloosa), 2003.

Disorder and Progress: Bandits, Police, and Mexican Development, University of Nebraska Press, 1981, revised, SR Books (Wilmington, DE), 1992.

Los Rurales Mexicanos, Fondo de Cultura Economica, 1982.

(Editor and author of introduction) Juarez (screenplay), University of Wisconsin Press (Madison, WI), 1983.

Border Fury: A Postcard Record of Mexico's Revolution and U.S. War Preparedness, 1910-1917, University of New Mexico Press (Sante Fe, NM), 1988.

(With Frank N. Samponaro) War Scare on the Rio Grande: Robert Runyon's Photographs of the Border Conflict, 1913-1916, published for the Barker Texas History Center by the Texas State Historical Association (Austin, TX), 1992.

The Power of God against the Guns of Government: Religious Upheaval in Mexico at the Turn of the Nineteenth Century, Stanford University Press (Stanford, CA), 1998.

Juan Soldado: Rapist, Murderer, Martyr, Saint, Duke University Press (Durham, NC), 2004.

Contributor of articles and reviews to newspapers and scholarly journals.

SIDELIGHTS:

Historian Paul J. Vanderwood has written several books focusing on Mexico, including Juan Soldado: Rapist, Murderer, Martyr, Saint. Referred to by Canadian Journal of History contributor Andrae Marak as a "solid performance by a veteran scholar on the history of Mexico," Juan Soldado examines the case of Juan Castillo Morales, a Mexican soldier who was executed in 1938 for the rape and murder of eight-year-old Olga Camacho. Since then, Morales has become a Mexican folk saint known as Juan Soldado, or John the Soldier. Looking at the events, beliefs, and circumstance that brought a popular devotion to Morales, the author recounts how many doubted Morales's guilt and were upset by his brutal execution. Reports of blood seeping from Morales's grave and other paranormal incidents that people supposedly witnessed or heard led to many visiting Morales's grave and requesting help. Since the time of his death, thousands have made pilgrimages to his gravesite even though the Catholic Church has never canonized Morales as a saint. Within the context of Morales's story and the popular devotion that has arisen around him, Vanderwood examines why and how popular canonizations not sanctioned by the church often flourish. The author's research for the book includes interviews with people such as Olga Camacho's mother, rioters who wanted to lynch Morales, and some of the early believers that Morales is a saint.

Noting the author's "lively prose, wide-ranging analysis, and provocative reasoning," Historian contributor Robert M. Buffington wrote: "Paul J. Vanderwood's wonderfully eccentric reading of the life, death, and afterlife of Juan Soldado … is sure to enchant the enchantable." Susan Schroeder, writing in the Catholic Historical Review, commented: "Where does guilt end and faith begin? This seems to be the prevailing leitmotiv of this splendid exposition of the life and afterlife of Juan Soldado …, celebrated saint of Tijuana, Mexico."

BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES:

PERIODICALS

American Historical Review, December, 1970, review of Night Riders of Reelfoot Lake, p. 2141; April, 1982, review of Disorder and Progress: Bandits, Police, and Mexican Development, p. 391.

Canadian Journal of History, April, 2005, Andrae Marak, review of Juan Soldado: Rapist, Murderer, Martyr, Saint, p. 153.

Catholic Historical Review, October, 2006, Susan Schroeder, review of Juan Soldado, p. 705.

Chronicle of Higher Education, January 7, 2005, Nina C. Ayoub, review of Juan Soldado.

Hispanic American Historical Review, November, 1982, review of Disorder and Progress, p. 693.

Historian, summer, 2006, Robert M. Buffington, review of Juan Soldado, p. 361.

Journal of American History, September, 1970, review of Night Riders of Reelfoot Lake, p. 471.

Publishers Weekly, November 8, 2004, review of Juan Soldado, p. 44.

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