The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 107, July 2003 - April, 2004 Page: 346
Southwestern Historical Quarterly
Several themes run through this well-researched biography. Rather than em-
phasizing how Anglo American discrimination suppressed Mexican Americans,
Kreneck stressed their human agency. Despite living in a hostile environment,
Tijerina shaped his own society through accommodation, determination, and
courage. He also advanced the idea of biculturalization, a trait most fully an-
alyzed by Arnoldo de Le6n in The Tejano Community, 836-z9oo (1982).
Through the development of a bicultural identity, Tijerina struck a balance be-
tween the mainstream culture and his own ethnic background, thereby insuring
his success within an Anglo American-dominated environment.
Mexican American Odyssey is primarily an admiring biography of the public life
of Felix Tijerina. While the author recounts some of his shortcomings, especially
accusations of being an "appeaser" whose LULAC leadership failed to attack the
hard issues of racial discrimination, he quickly dismisses them as unrealistic and
out of touch with the era. Moreover, his private life-especially the roles of "Mrs.
Felix," his family, and friends-remain undeveloped. Nevertheless, the book is a
welcome addition to a growing body of Mexican American history. Scholars, stu-
dents, and general readers will benefit from reading Mexican American Odyssey,
an important contribution to understanding Houston's Hispanic past and the
emergence of the "Mexican American Generation."
Lamar Unzversity Mary Kelley
Nuevomexicano Cultural Legacy: Forms, Agencies, and Dzscourse. Edited by Francisco
A. Lomeli, Victor A. Sorell, Genaro M. Padilla. (Alburqueque: University of
New Mexico Press, 2002. Paso Por Aquf Series. Pp. xi+296. Notes, acknowl-
edgments, preface, introduction, photographs, contributors, index. ISBN o-
8-8263-2224-7. $35.00, cloth.)
Taken together Nuevomexicano Cultural Legacy is leading-edge cultural history.
Sixteen accomplished Chicana/o scholars including the three general editors of
the Paso Por Aquf Series (under whose imprint the volume appears) write elo-
quently about the complexities of Nuevomexicano culture in the space of four-
teen interdisciplinary essays. Long in the making, this anthology was in part
funded by a major fellowship grant from the Rockefeller Foundation awarded to
the Southwest Hispanic Research Center at the University of New Mexico. The
grant led to the cross-disciplinary humanities seminar "Hispanic Expressive Cul-
ture and Contemporary Public Discourse." Seminar participants conducted their
studies between 1986 and 1993. These seminar findings were presented in con-
ference in 1994, and ultimately published in 2oo2.
Following an introductory essay by the editors, Nuevomexicano Cultural Legacy is
organized into three parts. Each of the first two parts contains three essays while
the third part contains seven. These sections are respectively titled: "Background
and Gestation: New Mexico Reinvented," "Construction of Identities: A Region-
al Ethos," and "Cultural Forms, Agencies, and Discourse: New Mexico's Coming
of Age." Richly illustrated, the book's contents are documented by forty-eight
photographs. Contributing scholars include (Part 1) Ram6n A. Gutierrez, A.
Gabriel Mel6ndez, Francisco A. Lomelf; (Part 2) Miguel Gandert, Ana Perches,
Olivia Arrieta; and (Part 3) Tey Diana Rebolledo, Luis Leal, Enrique Lamadrid,
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Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 107, July 2003 - April, 2004, periodical, 2004; Austin, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth101224/m1/390/ocr/: accessed October 25, 2016), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas State Historical Association.