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Originally published in 1975, this Pulitzer Prize-winning biography chronicles the life of Archbishop Jean Baptiste Lamy (1814-1888), New Mexico’s first resident bishop and the most influential, reform-minded Catholic official in the region during the late 1800s. Lamy’s accomplishments, including the endowing of hospitals, orphanages, and English-language schools and colleges, formed the foundation of modern-day Santa Fe and often brought him into conflict with corrupt local priests. His life story, also the subject of Willa Cather’s Death Comes for the Archbishop, describes a pivotal period in the American Southwest, as Spanish and Mexican rule gave way to much greater influence from the U.S. and Europe.
Historian and consummate stylist Paul Horgan has written a chronicle filled with hardy, often extraordinary adventure, all of it sustained by Lamy’s magnificent strength of character.