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Mexican Americans in Texas: A Brief History, 3rd Edition

ISBN: 978-0-88295-268-0
219 pages
January 2009, ©2009, Wiley-Blackwell
Mexican Americans in Texas: A Brief History, 3rd Edition (0882952684) cover image


This third edition of our ground-breaking publication, the first survey of Tejanos, has been completely updated to present a concise political, cultural, and social history of Mexican Americans in Texas from the Spanish colonial era to the present day, a time when people of Mexican descent are poised to become the demographic majority in the Lone Star.

Writing specifically for the college-level student and careful to include a consensus of the latest literature in this strong and continually growing field, Professor De León portrays Tejanos as active subjects, not merely objects, in the ongoing Texas story. Complemented by a stunning photographic essay and a helpful glossary, and featuring new biographical vignettes that now introduce and set the context for each chapter, this third edition of our well-loved text is certain to be even more engaging and relevant to readers of all levels.

And while the book targets a wide reading audience, it is ideally fit for classroom use. Professors teaching courses in Texas, western, and borderlands history will find it an ideal complement to their class lectures and other outside reading assignments. Of particular interest to students will be discussions describing the survival techniques Tejanos developed to withstand poverty and disadvantage, the process of assimilation over many generations, the changes engendered by the Chicano Movement of the 1960s, the role of political figures such as José Antonio Navarro, J. T. Canales, Alonso Perales, Héctor P. García, or Irma Rangel, or the impact of court cases like which Hernández v. Texas or Plyler v. Doe that changed the direction of Mexican American history.

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Table of Contents

Preface 1

Chapter One. Texas: A Spanish Outpost, 1716-1790s 7

Chapter Two. Under Three Nations: Spain, Mexico, and the Texas Republic, 1790s-1836 22

Chapter Three. A New Citizenship: Life in Anglo Texas, 1836-1880 38

Chapter Four. Mexican Americans and Inmigrantes in a Modernizing Society, 1880-1910 55

Chapter Five. Corridors North, 1900-1930 71

Chapter Six. The World Was I Years and the 1920s 85

Chapter Seven. To the U.S. Born, 1930-1945

Chapter Eight. “Latin Americans” in the Postwar Era, 1945-1960 120

Chapter Nine. The Sixties and El Movimiento, 1960-1976 135

Chapter Ten. Hispanic Texans in the Late Twentieth Century 153

Chapter Eleven. The Charge Forward 167

Glossary 176

Notes 181

Index 207

Maps 12, 41, 88-89

Photoessay follows page 119

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Author Information

A native of Robstown, Texas, Professor Arnoldo De León received his undergraduate education at Angelo State University. Upon graduation in 1970 with a B.A. in history, he went on to Texas Christian University, where he received his M.A. (1971) and his Ph.D. (1974) in history.

Since then, Professor De León has published widely in the field of Mexican American history, though he specializes in the history of Texas Mexicans. His major works include The Tejano Community, 1836 -1900 (1982; reprinted 1997 by Southern Methodist University Press); They Called Them Greasers: Anglo Attitude Toward Mexicans in Texas, 1821 1900 (1983); Ethnicity in the Sunbelts: A History of Mexican American in Houston, Texas (1989; new edition by Texas A&M University Press, 2001); Tejano Epic: Essays in Honor of Félix D. Almaráz, Jr. (Austin: Texas State Historical Association, 2005); and with Richard Griswold del Castillo, North to Aztlán: A History of Mexican Americans in the United States (1996; Harlan Davidson, Inc., 2006). The History of Texas, which he coauthored with Robert A. Calvert in 1990 (Fourth Edition with Robert A. Calvert and Gregg Cantrell, 2007) is used in many Texas Colleges and Universities.

Professor De León teaches in the Department of History at Angelo State University, where he has been since 1973, and holds the C.J. “Red” Davidson Professorship in history.

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Praise for the first edition
"De Leon...successfully integrates colonial history with late 19th-century and more contemporary processes... Mexican Americans in Texas has much to offer as an introduction to a subject matter the importance of which is made clearer every day." (The Western Library, Summer 1995)
"The book provides a needed narrative that synthesizes the newest research findings by historians of Tejanos and Tejanas." (Western Historical Quarterly, November 1993)
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