Mexican Americans


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Leadership, Ideology, and Identity, 1930-1960

Mario T. García

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A pioneering political and intellectual history of the Chicano leaders who emerged from the barrios of the Southwest between 1930 and 1960—Ignacio L. López, George I. Sanchez, Josefina Fierro de Bright, and others—and of their effort to capture first-class citizenship for Mexican Americans.  Drawing extensively on archival material and oral history, Mario T. García discusses the key figures, organizations, and issues of the movement; in so doing he casts new light not only on Chicano history but also on the histories of American ethnicity and civil rights movements.

"This is a much-needed study of a neglected period in the history of the Mexican-American struggle against discrimination. The author successfully bridges the gap between studies of the Immigrant Period and Chicano Movement in the 1950s and 1960s. The leaders are the focus but in the context of the struggle of the Mexican-American people for self-determination. Not just scholars, but anyone who is interested in understanding more of the history of all of the people of the United States can usefully read this book."—Mary Frances Berry, Geraldine R. Segal Professor of American Social Thought and History, University of Pennsylvania; member, United States Commission on Civil Rights

"García’s book is first-rate. Well documented, with a good index and comprehensive footnotes, it should be read by all interested groups."—Choice

"Mexican Americans emerge clearly from Mario Garcia’s study of what he calls the ’Mexican-American Generation,’ the first generation of Americans of Mexican descent to struggle on a broad scale for civil rights, first-class citizenship, and a secure identity as Mexican-Americans. . . . Garcia argues convincingly against the interpretation advanced by militant Chicanos in the 1970s. . . . Garcia underlines the obstacles to achieving genuine advances for the disadvantaged."—Michael W. Foley, Commonweal

"A trail-blazing book."—Historia

"Garcia . . . has ventured into this brave new world of synthesis and interpretation with his study of Hispanic leadership in the American Southwest from 1930 to 1960. He has undertaken several challenging tasks. . . . Garcia chronicles so well and laments so eloquently."—Michael Welsh, History: Reviews of New Books

"A thought-provoking study of leadership."—Vicki L. Ruiz, Journal of American History

"Mario Garcia has . . . given Chicano history an important corrective. . . . Remarkably researched and competently executed."—Douglas Monroy, Journal of the Southwest

"Professor Garcia does an outstanding job of documenting the activities of Mexican Americans within the labor movement. . . . Mexican Americans is a vastly intriguing book. Completely depending upon primary sources Professor Garcia lays out the peaks of success and valleys of failures the Mexican American generation encountered. . . . An exceedingly well-written book, meticulously researched and pioneering in many respects. It is Professor Garcia’s goal to shed light on a period that has suffered from far too little illumination. . . . Mexican Americans goes far in ensuring that Chicanos will, not only take pride in, but retain a ’memory of history.’"—Edward López, La Raza Law Journal

"Fascinating historical journey. . . . It is a book that humbles the spirit, informs the mind, and brings respect for the bridge-builders of yesterday who prepared the way for today’s struggles. . . . This is required reading for those of us from the Greater Antilles, Central and South America who need to learn each other’s histories to better forge coalitions under the banner of Hispanics in the United State."—Samual Betances, New York Daily News

"The story of this oft-neglected group has been given its due. Mexican Americans is a fine presentation and a painstaking analysis. . . . This is a volume the present generation should read to become acquainted with a significant if neglected period in its history. . . . It is a book that can be enjoyed by anyone interested in the heroes and heroines who come out of the ethnic and regional communities of this vast country. The generation Mr. Garcia depicts produced such heroes and heroines, and his research is not only a thoughtful review of their history, it is a tribute."—Rudolfo A. Anaya, New York Times Book Review

"This study fills a major void in the scholarly literature on Mexican Americans. . . . This study is an excellent look at the Mexican-American generation—those who underwent the same basic historical experiences during their formative years in the 1930s, 1940s, and 1950s. . . . This book is intended for those interested in Mexican-American studies or in the role of Mexican Americans in American history."—William K. Hall, Perspectives on Political Science

"Refreshing new book . . . offers painstaking scholarship. . . . Garcia has detailed the role of Mexican-Americans before the militants of the 1960s."—Richard Estrada, Santa Barbara News-Press

"Garcia’s work is a significant, effective contribution to our understanding of Southwestern history and politics."—David Montejano, Texas Observer

"Mexican Americans fills an enormous gap. . . . A first-rate work of historical writing and interpretation."—David Rieff, Times Literary Supplement

Winner of the 1990 Southwest Book Award of the Border Regional Library Association for writing and publication of outstanding literature of the Southwest
ISBN: 9780300049848
Publication Date: January 23, 1991
388 pages, 6 x 9
21 b/w illus.
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