The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 78, July 1974 - April, 1975

Book Reviews

the Mexican economy to provide jobs have caused millions of Mexicans
to come north into the United States to seek work. This development, which
began only around the turn of the century, has been little studied in terms
of its history and its impact upon both countries. With Abraham Hoff-
man's work, however, an aspect of border pressures has been examined.
Hoffman's study focuses upon the voluntary and forced repatriation of
Mexicans from the United States in the decade of the Great Depression.
Nearly one-half million people of Mexican origin (a number of whom were
American citizens) left the United States during this period.
While repatriation occurred in much of the Southwest and even in some
northern cities, Hoffman concentrates on the repatriation procedures em-
ployed in Southern California. With extensive footnotes covering a wide
range of primary sources (written rather than oral), Hoffman examines the
men and the diverse motives involved in the drive to rid the country of
aliens. Bureaucratic confusion abounded, and many Mexicans found them-
selves in an inescapable dilemma: if they had jobs, they were attacked for
depriving American citizens of jobs; if they were on welfare, they were a
burden to the economy. As Hoffman documents, some of the Anglos in-
volved in the repatriation actually seem to have believed that the expulsion
of Mexican aliens would end the Depression. He also notes the Mexican
government's often ambiguous role in the process-wanting Mexicans to
return, yet not having the resources to provide for them.
The book deals with an interesting subject, although at times the organi-
zation is a bit choppy. Hoffman does not discuss theoretical ideas concern-
ing power and economics, which this period may highlight, and one might
have wanted a more complete discussion of Hoffman's apparent disagree-
ment with Carey McWilliams' ideas on the context and reasons for repatri-
ation. But the book does indirectly emphasize the extent to which economic
interests (and the expansion and contraction of the American economy)
seem to have shaped the way Americans have viewed and dealt with Mexi-
cans.
Western Illinois University JOHN S. SHOCKLEY
The Time of the Buffalo. By Tom McHugh. (New York: Alfred A. Knopf,
1972. Pp. xxiv+339. Illustrations, appendices, bibliography, index.
$Io.)
"I found such a quantity of cows," wrote Francisco Vasquez Coronado
in I54I, "that it is impossible to number them, for while I was journeying
through these plains, until I returned them to where I first found them,

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Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 78, July 1974 - April, 1975. Austin, Texas. The Portal to Texas History. http://texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth117149/. Accessed July 10, 2014.