December 1, 2000

Documenting a Dream of a Better Life

Mainstream American Historical texts suffer from a disturbing void of literature and documentation demonstrating the process of creating and validating Mexican-American communities in the United States. In order to redress this need, from the author of the best-selling Chicano! presents a major overview of crucial historical documents in the Mexican-American pursuit of life, liberty, and justice in the United States.

Beginning with the early 1800's and extending his survey up to the modern era, Rosales has pursued and meticulously put in order a wealth of essential, illuminating papers: petitions, correspondence (both personal and official), government reports, political proclamations, newspaper items (both news articles and editorials), first-hand accounts, manifestos, congressional testimony, memoirs, and even international treaties in his text, Testimonio: A Documentary History of the Mexican-American Struggle for Civil Rights.

Rosales proceeds chronologically in a commanding and thorough examination of such topics as Mexicans in the nineteenth-century Southwest; the internal, and international, effects of the Mexican Revolution of 1910 and the regimes that followed; massive immigration during the 1920s; the establishment of a México de afuera by nostalgic exiles; the mobilizing of Mexican Americans in civil-rights groups to combat discrimination, particularly following World War II; workplace and labor groups such as the United Farm Workers; and the rise of militant groups and movements such as the Brown Berets, the Raza Unida political party, and the Chicano Moratorium.

Each chapter begins with an extended introduction, in which Rosales carefully sets the scene and establishes the context in which these records were produced. In addition, each individual item is given its own particular preface, and Rosales has also carefully documented his sources for further exploration. All sides—from the fervently militant to the accommodating to the rabidly xenophobic—are heard from; and the voices Rosales has selected range from the famous and powerful to the wholly obscure.

In Testimonio, Arturo Ros-ales has produced a touchstone volume, a definite work for reference and study that scholars and students will soon find indispensable. This work serves as a worthy component of the landmark Hispanic Civil Rights Series.

F. Arturo Rosales is the author of Chicano! The History of the Mexican-American Civil Rights Movement (an acclaimed PBS television series), Hispanics and the Humanities in the Southwest, and Pobre Raza: Violence, Justice, and Mobilization Among Mexico Lindo Immigrants and other works. He is Professor of History at Arizona State University in Tempe.

Arte Público Press is the largest and most established publisher of contemporary and recovered literature by U.S. Hispanic authors. Together with its imprint for children, Piñata Books, and its Recovering the U.S. Hispanic Literary Heritage project, Arte Público Press provides the most widely recognized showcase for Hispanic literary arts and creativity.

Title: Testimonio: A Documentary History of the Mexican-American Struggle for Civil Rights
Author: F. Arturo Rosales
ISBN: 1-55885-299-9
Price: $24.95

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