Hands Down Mexican Book Review

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Hands down the author Orozco book is the one of the best titles on Mexican American history that I have seen in a long while. This title clearly and calmly projects the growth of a self-conscious Mexican American social and political movement, the League of United Latin American Citizens (LULAC). If there is one consideration which requires some note, it is Orozco’s use of the term “La Raza”. Though here she uses it entirely to indicate “the Mexican race,” if one missed that in the introductory chapter one might well feel, and with some justification, that she was referring to the political movement. A further difficulty with the term is that Hispanics were not considered a separate race in law until the 1930 Decennial US Census and her work…show more content…
Orozco similarly disagrees with this point, preferring to see the 1920s activists as pragmatic. In Chapter Four, she presents a group biography of the eleven men considered co-founders of LULAC. Seven were working class and had lives surrounded by hard, physical labor, and all eleven had “regular contact with workers and immigrants” (118).This group had its own independent platform and areas of concern, mostly the traditional feminine areas of education and childrearing (71). None of these groups, masculine- or feminine-oriented, lasted much past1920, all of them going through a mixed process of splintering and dissolution caused as much by difficulties in communication and transportation as much as by personality conflicts between founders and between regional organization hubs (89). Even so, they provided the groundwork for the OSA to expand throughout the 1920s.Early leadership of the OSA and the splinter groups was comprised in large part of returned World War One…show more content…
Full merger of all existing Mexican American organizations was advocated, and eventually all received invitations to join. Policy was quickly adopted along Harlingen lines to limit membership to American citizens. By April, the OSA had been dissolved and thirteen other local groups had joined LULAC. Their platform was praised by one contemporary, Paul S. Taylor, as a “combination of realism and idealism” (177). This struck Mexican Americans as odd because “in 1929, the league was unable to fathom white allies–they were too few” (178).In all Orozco presents an admirable, believable, and readable account of the origin of the Mexican American movement. If there are lacks or deficiencies, they are due to documentary lapses and not of her making. Her manner alternates between defensive and casual depending on whether or not she is defending a contentious proposition or simply telling the story of LULAC and its members. She is self-conscious of the controversial nature of her statements, and takes pains to avoid appearing to be a reactionary. But, much like other recent scholars, she provides a much-needed response to certain ideological

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