The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 81, July 1977 - April, 1978

Southwestern Historical Quarterly

ish areas, the independence movement in Texas, and the war between
the United States and Mexico.
Part Three examines Mexico's civil war and its role in stimulating
migration into the United States. Major attention is devoted to the
massive use of Mexican labor in the United States during the twentieth
century. Part Three also examines the recent extensive urbanization of
Mexican Americans.
Part Four addresses itself to the Chicano movement for equal rights
and economic well-being, to Mexican Americans and the arts, and to
the future of Mexican Americans.
Perhaps the authors' major accomplishment is their success in dem-
onstrating the importance of Mexican-American history for under-
standing the history of the United States itself. Most of the book de-
serves high marks for objectivity, but there are some lapses. For exam-
ple, two forest rangers "arrested" by Tijerina's alliance of land grants
"were tried and convicted by the people" (p. 191).
This reviewer will be surprised if this book is not widely adopted in
both colleges and high schools.
Illinois State University GEORGE C. KISER
A Right to the Land: Essays on the Freedmen's Community. By Edward
Magdol. (Westport: Greenwood Press, 1977. Pp. xii+29o. Preface,
introduction, illustrations, appendices, bibliographic note, index.
In this significant monograph Edward Magdol has added a new di-
mension to the many recent works on slavery and the freedmen in the
Reconstruction period. The book begins with an essay on slavery and
proceeds chronologically through the communal migrations of 1878-
1881, maintaining a focus on the continuity of black self-realization in
both slavery and freedom. In the process the author challenges earlier
concepts held by leading scholars about both the slave and the freed-
men. He contends that the initiative and striving for community of the
freedmen during and after the Civil War renders untenable the deper-
sonalization theory of Stanley M. Elkins and the planter hegemony the-
ory of Eugene D. Genovese; Time on the Cross he dismisses out of
The emphasis of Magdol's work is on the struggle of the freedmen
for realization of a recognized role in American society, a role which
they sought through mutuality in the formation of black communities.


Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 81, July 1977 - April, 1978. Austin, Texas. The Portal to Texas History. Accessed November 28, 2015.