The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 105, July 2001 - April, 2002

Southwestern Historical Quarterly

organize a meeting with Mexican American leaders, Still, leaders organized a walk-
out in 1966 to protest the lack of Mexican Americans on the Equal Employment
Opportunity Commission. Johnson also held cabinet committee hearings in El Paso
that led to Chicano radicals' dissent and the development of the Raza Unida party.
Middle class and barrio leaders used his Great Society program to infuse millions of
dollars into the Chicano community. The book helps identify various Chicano lead-
ers' political positions, especially throughout the 196os.
Pycior diligently searched for letters, tapes, and telegrams at the LBJ Library
and in major collections such as the Dr. Hector Garcia and Graciela Olivarez
papers and she even utilized the papers of Vicente Ximemes and Ed IdarJr., still
in private hands. Numerous interviews, in person and via the phone, were con-
ducted with a wide array of political elites, folk, and women. Dr. Cleo Garcia,
Viva Johnson club leader, and Lupe Anguiano of San Antonio are two Tejanas
whose politics are profiled for the first time.
As their teacher, principal, NYA director, senator, and president, Johnson
always had power over Mexican Americans. Though dominant and racially pater-
nalistic, Johnson enacted his liberalism through Mexican Americans. Was this
"the paradox of power"? Johnson did not treat La Raza as foreign as most U.S.
presidents have, and in fact did assist La Raza as a moderate politician. Pycior
concludes, "By welcoming Mexican Americans into the political process, Lyndon
Johnson accelerated their integration into national life" (p. 245). Still, Johnson
has multiple legacies in the Chicano and Chicana community. Pycior's detailed
and interesting story of this president's complex relationship to the Mexican
American community deserves telling in history, political science, and ethnic
studies classes.
Eastern New Mexico University, Ruidoso CYNTHIA E. OROZCO
Lady Bzrd Johnson: Our Environmental First Lady. By Lewis L. Gould. (Lawrence:
The University Press of Kansas, 1999. Pp. xi+162. Foreword, preface,
abbreviations, notes, bibliographic essay, index. ISBN o-7oo6-0992-x.
$25.00, cloth.)
The role of modern first ladies who have occupied the White House has gen-
erally received only spotty historical treatment. Earlier studies of presidential
wives have portrayed them as appendages of their husbands, reluctant spouses,
or behind-the-scenes partners. Few authors have addressed their impact on the
"office" in any systematic or analytical way. Lewis L. Gould, UT professor emeri-
tus, however, seeks to fill that gap with a series of volumes on modern first
ladies. As an outgrowth of an earlier book (1988), Lady Bird Johnson: Our
Environmental First Lady documents the contributions of Mrs. Johnson as an
important innovator in shaping the bureaucratic procedures and policy-making
functions of that institution.
Over the last century the position of presidential wife evolved from "the passiv-
ity and reclusiveness" of nineteenth-century spouses to the "more active and
more visible" role of twentieth-century first ladies (p. 29). Some, such as Eleanor

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Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 105, July 2001 - April, 2002. Austin, Texas. The Portal to Texas History. http://texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth101222/. Accessed November 25, 2014.