The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 86, July 1982 - April, 1983

Book Reviews

however. This is pointed out in an appropriate epilogue where the
hazards and parameters of this work's primary sources are noted. Only
certain areas (counties) of Texas were used, for example, and an analy-
sis based on them should not be considered the final word. This re-
viewer hopes that subsequent studies will continue the kind of scholarly
inquiry herein begun. Finally, one wonders how this study found its
way outside of Texas for publication.
Museum of New Mexico, Santa Fe THOMAS E. CHAVEZ
Dictionary of Mexican American History. By Matt S. Meier and Feli-
ciano Rivera. (Westport, Conn.: Greenwood Press, 1981. Pp. xiii+
498. Preface, acknowledgments, contributors, appendices, tables,
figures, maps, index. $35.)
As a resource tool for scholars, students, teachers, librarians, and
anyone interested in Mexican American culture and history, this dic-
tionary will prove to be invaluable. It is written in a clear and concise
style, free of abstract jargon and confusing detail. Moreover it is easy to
use. The many contributors to this volume have summarized, orga-
nized, and condensed the basic concepts and terms of Mexican Ameri-
can history. I tried hard to think of an idea, person, organization, or
place that could be considered an essential part of Mexican American
history but that was not listed. Very rarely was I disappointed. Almost
every essential fact a person would want to know has been referenced
in this volume.
There are several aspects of the dictionary that will make it useful
to the general reader. Important subjects are not only described in a
comprehensive way, most often in a narrative essay style, but refer-
ences are also given at the end of major entries. In addition, one of the
appendices is a bibliography, for those who want more information on
a topic.
This work is more than a dictionary; it is rather an encyclopedia. It
discusses broad topics that are essential for understanding the Mexican
American past, such as urbanism, art and artists, the Southwest, World
Wars I and II, as well as the basic Spanish, Mexican, and Chicano his-
tories of the states of the Southwest. Events, people, places, and organi-
zations that are not common knowledge, except among a few profes-
sional historians, are explained with precision. Thus there is even an
entry for Adina de Zavala, who was perhaps the first female Mexican
American historian in the Southwest. The Texas history of Mexican

579

Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 86, July 1982 - April, 1983. Austin, Texas. The Portal to Texas History. http://texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth101209/. Accessed May 5, 2015.