The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 107, July 2003 - April, 2004

Book Reviews

Farm Workers union and is a welcome addition to the literature on Mexican
Americans. This well-written short book provides teachers of twentieth-century
labor history, general surveys in United States history, and courses in Latino or
Mexican American history a nice mix of biographical and primary material with
which to introduce Chavez to students in an accessible format. Made for the sup-
plementary reading list, this book summarizes nearly 30 years of biographical
material on Chavez and his union in an introductory 25-page biography fol-
lowed by a well-organized mix of complimentary materials.
In Etulain's telling, Chavez comes of age in California at mid-century in a pro-
cess of becoming what he terms a "Chicano Citizen." Although Chavez was a na-
tional figure, this work shows how this California labor leader first focused on
building a grassroots movement to establish social services, and later a labor
union for farm workers in his state. The documents that follow show how
Chavez's contemporaries and scholars viewed him as a dedicated trade unionist
focused on building this union, yet the book spends little time on the United
Farm Workers' (UFW) relationship with the related and often competing na-
tional farm worker movements in Texas and the Midwest. The presentation of
several often critical, yet generally supportive, commentaries and essays on
Chavez shows the ways in which those within and outside of the UFW often criti-
cized his tactics, yet celebrated him and the labor union he helped build. In this
reading, we learn that the UFW grew as a social movement in a time of great civil
rights activism in the United States, yet one cannot help but notice how the
UFW really was a local movement. Therefore, although not addressed directly, it
remains unclear if in the final analysis, Chavez and his local movement helped
or hindered the broader movement for Chicano/Mexican American civil rights
known commonly as the Chicano Movement.
With the humble goal of introducing Chavez as a man and labor leader, this
classroom text provides a long- needed addition to general-survey reading lists as
it features the life of one of the most well-known figures in twentieth-century
Chicano life and politics. This book should work well as a student text since it al-
so includes a well-organized bibliographical section for those students interested
in understanding more about Chavez and the union he helped build for Califor-
nia's farm workers.
Princeton University Marc Rodriguez
How They Learned About Texas: Selections from the Texan Rifle-Hunter by "Captain
Flack-Late of the Texas Rangers." Edited by Len Ainsworth. (Lubbock: The
Book Club of Texas, 2001oo. Pp. 6o. Preface to first edition, introduction,
notes. $12o.oo, cloth.)
How They Learned About Texas: Selections from the Texan Rifle Hunter by "Captazn
Flack-Late of the Texas Rangers" is the latest in the Book Club of Texas's Texana
series. Editor Len Ainsworth's excellent introduction presents the pseudony-
mous author, "Captain Flack, late of the Texas Rangers" who authored six books
on Texas and the American West published by British presses between i866 and
1868. A number of scholars, includingJ. Frank Dobie, have attempted to deter-
mine the true identity of Flack, but to no avail. Ainsworth also comes up short,

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Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 107, July 2003 - April, 2004. Austin, Texas. The Portal to Texas History. http://texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth101224/. Accessed December 22, 2014.