Landscapes of Fraud creates a powerful narrative around the author’s central theme: the commoditization of land and the betrayal of community through speculation and displacement of the indigenous, Hispanic, and Anglo-American farmers, miners, hunter-gatherers, and homesteaders who had worked the land over multiple generations. Sheri-dan traces the persistence of community through the O’odham (pima) villagers and desert bands; the Spanish and Mexican ranchers, peasants, and mine prospectors; and the initial Anglo-American settlers, who created palimpsests of intertwining landscapes in the Upper Santa Cruz valley of southern Arizona. Their longevity extended for millennia; their presence within the historical record lasted over three centuries from the initial Spanish mission entradas of the late 1600s to the mid-twentieth century. Sheridan’s story centers on the ways in which these persistent communities were shattered by successive waves of speculative claims to railroad rights-of-way, mines, and real estate developments...

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