Storied Land is not only an important record of events--it is also a powerful and innovative investigation of how historical narratives are produced. Walton looks at how Franciscan missionaries and military governors created competing historical narratives of "civilizing" the Native American population. He explores changing historical conditions that generate successive narratives of Yankee progress, Spanish romance, and working-class Cannery Row. Today the nostalgic story of early California competes with political activists' conceptions of environmental protection and ethnic diversity. Walton uses these historical examples to examine the larger issues of collective memory, arguing that history is a product of the interplay of events and narratives.