The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 96, July 1992 - April, 1993 Page: 296
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Southwestern Hzstorical Quarterly
will be familiar with the historical data included in the book. Nevertheless they
will find the book innovative and provocative enough to force them to defend
and to evaluate their intellectual positions on current politics. Whether one
agrees with Davidson may well depend on one's own philosophy, but his book
deserves a serious reading by all interested in current affairs. Race and Class in
Texas Politics will be an essential tool for those who work in twentieth-century
Texas A&M University ROBERT A. CALVERT
Rise of the Mexican American Middle Class. By Richard A. Garcia. (College Station:
Texas A&M Press, 1991. Pp. xvi + 398. Preface, acknowledgements, intro-
duction, epilogue, notes, bibliography, index. $39.50.)
Richard A. Garcia's book is a welcome addition to twentieth century Chicano
and U.S. history. Garcia argues that between 1929 and 1941 Mexican Ameri-
cans in San Antonio established a solid middle class and developed a Mexican
American identity expressed through the political organization of the League
of United Latin American Citizens (LULAC). Like Mario T. Garcia's Mexi-
can Americans: Leadership, Ideology, and Identity (Yale University Press, 1989),
Richard Garcia's book posits 1929 as a marker for social change in the Mexican
origin community, especially regarding ethnic identity.
Garcia's book is divided into three parts: I) the Mexican and the City; II) the
Barrio and Everyday Life; and III) Ideas and Ideology. In Part I Garcia pro-
vides a socioeconomic analysis of modern San Antonio and the status of la
Raza. Since little scholarship exists on twentieth-century San Antonio, this sec-
tion will prove especially useful to historians of the city.
Part II is less valuable, especially the chapters on the church and family,
which remain peripheral to Garcia's argument. He does not show how these
institutions fostered change in the political ideology of Mexican Americans.
The chapter on education, however, is key in understanding the formation of
the Mexican American middle class.
Part III focuses on two sectors of San Antonio's Mexican origin community:
los ricos, the upper and middle class sector who were exiles from Mexico during
the Mexican Revolution, and the Mexican American middle class who orga-
nized LULAC in 1929. He addresses their activities and ideologies, but missing
is an analysis of the Mexican immigrant working class sector, its ideas, and how
it impacted the two groups.
Garcia has provided, with great success, the first analysis and portrait of the
rico class and its ideology. He might have focused on individual members of
the rico class such as Jos6 R6mulo Munguia and Carolina Munguia (Henry
Cisneros's grandparents) or Ignacio Lozano and Alicia Lozano, who established
La Prensa, the first state-wide Spanish-language newspaper in Texas.
Garcia has written an elite male history of the Mexican American middle
class. Chapters on the ideas of the Mexican American middle class spotlight
LULAC attorneys M. C. Gonzales and Alonso S. Perales. A spotlight on these
leaders does not permit a full understanding of the ideas of typical LULAC
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Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 96, July 1992 - April, 1993, periodical, 1993; Austin, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth101215/m1/340/: accessed December 14, 2018), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas State Historical Association.