The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 70, July 1966 - April, 1967 Page: 341
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total population, live south of San Antonio and along the Mex-
ican border. In 1965 they had a median yearly income of $2,400
and 4.8 years of schooling; Anglo-Americans earned $4,768 and
spent o.8 years in school. Of every loo,ooo Texans, 16o Mexican-
Americans died from tuberculosis, but only 40 Anglos and 50
Across the Tracks is a study of a Mexican-American community,
with all of the aforementioned problems, in south Texas. New
Lots, the name Rubel has given his community, is close to the
Mexican border. In the author's view, New Lots, which lies just
across the tracks from the Anglo sector of the city, is typical of
Mexican-American settlements in the Southwest.
Rubel has written a highly readable, sympathetic, and informa-
tive account, the product of two years of field research. It is a
contribution to a subject that has been explored only on the
edges. Unfortunately, though the author is aware of the economic
plight of the Mexican-American community, he discusses only
briefly the impact of poverty and discrimination on the citizens
of New Lots. The study, in addition, suffers from a number of
limitations. The conclusions, though presented forcefully, do not
add much new information to what is already known about the
Mexican-American. In the pattern of previous studies, Rubel
focuses on the most deprived. Almost no attempt is made to ex-
plore the individuals who moved across the tracks. How do their
values differ from those of the majority? How did they acquire
them-when others did not? Is New Lots, being near the Mexican
border, typical of Mexican-American communities cut off from
fresh waves of Mexican immigrants? Further, much of what
Rubel finds unique in New Lots is but a carry-over from the
village in rural Mexico. Politics, medical practices, and attitudes,
for example, differ only slightly from customs and traditions
common to Mexican peasants, a fact he belatedly recognizes in
his concluding chapter, which places New Lots in a broader,
Despite these limitations, Across the Tracks merits study by
scholar and layman interested in America's second largest mi-
nority, whose problems afflict an area from California to Texas
and north to Colorado. RAM6N EDUARDO RUiz
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Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 70, July 1966 - April, 1967, periodical, 1967; Austin, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth101199/m1/359/: accessed May 27, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas State Historical Association.