The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 99, July 1995 - April, 1996

Southwestern Historical Quarterly

The minimal hardware and software demands are quite reasonable by today's
standards: a multimedia 486/33 PC; four megabytes of RAM; a color monitor
with eight-bit (256-color) 640 x 480 display capabilities; a double-speed CD-
ROM drive; an eight-bit Windows-compatible sound card and speakers; a mouse
or other pointing device; and Microsoft Windows 3.1 (or later) software.
Nothing will replace the book for the profound impact it makes on the mind.
Yet just as other means of communication have proved themselves practical and
perfectable, high-quality multimedia productions like this one will proliferate, at
least as long as parents and educators search for every method possible to make
children want to learn.
LBJLibrary T. MICHAEL PARRISH
Tejano Rehgzon and Ethnicity: San Antonio, 182z-186o. By Timothy M. Matovina.
(Austin: University of Texas Press, 1995. Pp. xi+168. Introduction, bibliog-
raphy, index. ISBN o-29275-170-2. $24.95.)
In this book, Matovina proposes that the historian can access a variety of docu-
ments to find the historical trail of a minority group which may have been ig-
nored or distorted by the formal documents of the dominant group. By
searching in church records, for example, Matovina, finds the Tejano communi-
ty practicing highly ritualized religious celebrations. In the rituals, he perceives
not only the Tejano beliefs, but their priorities, and their decision-making struc-
ture as well. Also, he examines their voting patterns, their family structure, and
even their fandangos to reveal their political strategies, their leadership, and
their loyalties. The task is daunting, but Matovina uses a well-established
methodology.
The study is based on records from the Catholic Archives of Texas, newspa-
pers, and published reminiscences on Tejanos in San Antonio between 1836
and 1860. The book depicts the Tejano community through its "collective be-
havior," making it a first in that regard. The introduction explicitly describes the
methodology and rationale, and each chapter begins with a demographic profile
of Tejano population, land holdings, and employment patterns. The methodolo-
gy and structure should make the book interesting to sociologists and anthropol-
ogists as well as historians.
Rejecting the notion that Tejanos had a "low level of culture," Matovina ar-
gues that Tejanos do not fit the one-way assimilationist models of Oscar Handlin
or traditional immigration studies (p. 1). Instead, Matovina demonstrates that
Tejanos steadfastly defended their own community values against often over-
whelming odds. In the 1855 statement of Jose Antonio Navarro, Tejanos were
not immigrants, but the only legitimate Texans. Their loyal contribution was not
limited to the Alamo and the Texas Revolution as was that of so many other late
arrivals, but dated back to the founding of Texas and independence from Spain.
In the book, Tejanos emerge not as a shadowy immigrant population, floating in
the background of Anglo front-stage actors, but as a well-defined community

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Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 99, July 1995 - April, 1996. Austin, Texas. The Portal to Texas History. http://texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth101217/. Accessed August 1, 2014.