The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 106, July 2002 - April, 2003

Southwestern Historical Quarterly

legal distinctions while Chapter Seven explores how these reforms did not work
as intended, fostering many of the old racial inequalities. Chapter Eight argues
that the United States' violation of the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo's citizen-
ship protections "began a process of racialization that categorized most Mexi-
cans as inferiors in all domains of life" (p. 215). The last chapter briefly covers
the twentieth century and the epilogue examines the author's family history
through the anthropological technique of auto/ethnography.
Although the prevalence of value-laden words and first-person digressions are
distracting, the lack of interpretive balance is a more serious deficiency. The
facts in Recovenng Hzstory, Constructing Race are at odds with the interpretation.
This derives from a confusing application of "racialization," defined as the sys-
tematic denial of opportunities to people of color through legal manipulation of
race. After its definition in the introduction (p. 3), racialization mysteriously dis-
appears until Chapter Eight (p. 215). Why is it only with United States occupa-
tion that racialization appears? Where is racialization when Spain denied top
positions to cnollos, kept mestizos from mid-level positions, and subjected Native
American and afromestizo aspirations to "financial and social penalties" (p. 65)?
How is it not racialization when Spain in 1731 imported Canary Islanders to San
Antonio "for the explicit purpose of governing the non-White population" as
peninsulares (Spaniards born in the Iberian Peninsula) with special privileges and
doubled land grants (p. 1 lo)? Menchaca fails to explain the difference between
this type of race discrimination and the post-1848 variety except that one in-
volves racialization and the other does not. This omission causes the book's in-
terpretation to seem unbalanced, even though this reviewer sympathizes with
the idea that Latin American conceptions of race were fundamentally different
from Anglo American notions and that discrimination was harsher in the United
States. Also, the category of race is divorced from crucial context that could have
strengthened the racialization concept. Incorporation of the interplay between
race and class, a theme of numerous recent works by historians, might have giv-
en the racialization theory more explanatory power. Nuance disappears in the
last chapters as the racialization scheme dominates.
Despite significant interpretive flaws, Martha Menchaca's Recovering Hzstory,
Constructing Race is nevertheless a necessity. This book is an excellent resource
for scholars and an engaging introduction to the subject for students.
Texas A&M University CARLOS KEVIN BLANTON
Saltillo, 177o-z8zo: Town and Region in the Mexican North. By Leslie S. Offutt.
(Tucson: University of Arizona Press, 2001. Pp. ix+277. List of tables and
maps, notes, references, index. ISBN 0-8065-2164-6. $5o.oo, cloth.)
This monograph is a version, substantially revised, of Leslie S. Offut's disserta-
tion on late colonial Saltillo (University of California, Los Angeles, 1982). Her
work, together with Jose Cuello's dissertation on Saltillo before 1770 (University
of California, Berkeley, 1981), were the first studies in English focused upon that
community and its role in the growth and development of colonial northeastern

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Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 106, July 2002 - April, 2003. Austin, Texas. The Portal to Texas History. http://texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth101223/. Accessed December 18, 2014.