"Chicano writers from El Paso are the most progressive, open-minded, far-reaching, and inclusive writers of them all."

Octavio Romano

Saturday, March 03, 2012

New Chicano(a) Titles for January and February 2012: New Books by Saenz, Anaya, Gary Soto

New Chican(a) Titles for 
January and February 2012
New Books by Anaya, Saenz, Gary Soto!

Critical Race Counterstories Along the Chicana/Chicano Educational Pipeline
Hardcover Routledge; 2 edition (January 2012)
ISBN-10: 0415874548 ISBN-13: 978-0415874540
Tara J. Yosso

Chicanas/os are part of the youngest, largest, and fastest growing racial/ethnic 'minority' population in the United States, yet at every schooling level, they suffer the lowest educational outcomes of any racial/ethnic group. 

Using a 'counterstorytelling' methodology, Tara Yosso debunks racialized myths that blame the victims for these unequal educational outcomes and redirects our focus toward historical patterns of institutional neglect. She artfully interweaves empirical data and theoretical arguments with engaging narratives that expose and analyse racism as it functions to limit access and opportunity for Chicana/o students. 

By humanising the need to transform our educational system, Yosso offers an accessible tool for teaching and learning about the problems and possibilities present along the Chicano/a educational pipeline.

The Struggle in Black and Brown: African American and Mexican American Relations during the Civil Rights Era (Justice and Social Inquiry)
Paperback University of Nebraska Press (January 1, 2012)
ISBN-10: 080326271X ISBN-13: 978-0803262713
Brian D Behnken (Editor, Introduction)

It might seem that African Americans and Mexican Americans would have common cause in matters of civil rights. This volume, which considers relations between blacks and browns during the civil rights era, carefully examines the complex and multifaceted realities that complicate such assumptions—and that revise our view of both the civil rights struggle and black-brown relations in recent history. 

Unique in its focus, innovative in its methods, and broad in its approach to various locales and time periods, the book provides key perspectives to understanding the development of America’s ethnic and sociopolitical landscape.

These essays focus chiefly on the Southwest, where Mexican Americans and African Americans have had a long history of civil rights activism. Among the cases the authors take up are the unification of black and Chicano civil rights and labor groups in California; divisions between Mexican Americans and African Americans generated by the War on Poverty; and cultural connections established by black and Chicano musicians during the period. 

Together these cases present the first truly nuanced picture of the conflict and cooperation, goodwill and animosity, unity and disunity that played a critical role in the history of both black-brown relations and the battle for civil rights. Their insights are especially timely, as black-brown relations occupy an increasingly important role in the nation’s public life.

No Undocumented Child Left Behind: Plyler v. Doe and the Education of Undocumented Schoolchildren (Citizenship and Migration in T)
Hardcover NYU Press (January 1, 2012)
ISBN-10: 0814762441 ISBN-13: 978-0814762448
Michael A. Olivas (Author)

The 1982 U. S. Supreme Court case of Plyler v. Doe, which made it possible for undocumented children to enroll in Texas public schools, was a watershed moment for immigrant rights in the United States. 

The Court struck down both a state statute denying funding for education to undocumented children and a municipal school district's attempt to charge an annual $1,000 tuition fee for each undocumented student to compensate for the lost state funding. Yet while this case has not returned to the Supreme Court, it is frequently contested at the state and local level.

In No Undocumented Child Left Behind, Michael A. Olivas tells a fascinating history of the landmark case, examining how, 30 years later, Plyler v. Doe continues to suffer from implementation issues and requires additional litigation and vigilance to enforce the ruling. 

He takes a comprehensive look at the legal regime it established regarding the education of undocumented school children, moves up through its implementation, including direct and indirect attacks on it, and closes with the ongoing, highly charged debates over the Development, Relief, and Education for Minors (DREAM) Act, which aims to give conditional citizenship to undocumented college students who graduated from US high schools and have been in the country for at least five years. 

War along the Border: The Mexican Revolution and Tejano Communities 
University of Houston Series in Mexican American Studies, Sponsored by the Cente - 
TAMU Press (January 13, 2012)
ISBN-10: 1603445250 ISBN-13: 978-1603445252 

Scholars contributing to this volume consider topics ranging from the effects of the Mexican Revolution on Tejano and African American communities to its impact on Texas’ economy and agriculture. Other essays consider the ways that Mexican Americans north of the border affected the course of the revolution itself.

The Mexican-American War (Living Through)
Paperback Heinemann-Raintree (January 1, 2012)
ISBN-10: 1432960075 ISBN-13: 978-1432960070
John DiConsiglio 

Why was the Mexican American War so important in the formation of the modern United States? Could Texas have survived as an independent nation or part of Mexico? This book seeks to relate the overall events and chronology of the war and shows its impact on everyday lives.

Mexican American Fertility Patterns
Paperback University of Texas Press (January 18, 2012)
ISBN-10: 0292739834 ISBN-13: 978-0292739833
Frank D. Bean (Author), Gray Swicegood (Author)

The Mexican American population is the fastest growing major racial/ethnic group in the United States. During the decade 1970–1980, the Mexican origin population increased from 4.5 million to 8.7 million persons. High fertility, not immigration, was responsible for nearly two-thirds of this growth.

Recent and historical evidence shows that women of Mexican origin or descent bear significantly more children than other white women in the United States. Mexican American Fertility Patterns clarifies the nature and magnitude of these fertility differences by analyzing patterns of childbearing both across ethnic groups and within the Mexican American population.

Using data from the 1970 and 1980 U.S. Censuses and from the 1976 Survey of Income and Education, the authors evaluate various hypotheses of cultural, social, demographic, and/or economic factors as determinants of fertility differences. Empirical analyses center on the interrelationships between fertility and generational status, language usage and proficiency, and female education. 

This timely report concludes that Mexican American fertility is closest to that of other whites under conditions of greater access to the opportunity structures of the society.

Facts of Life: Stories
Paperback Graphia; Reprint edition (January 17, 2012)
ISBN-10: 0547577346 ISBN-13: 978-0547577340
Gary Soto

What do Gaby Lopez, Michael Robles, and Cynthia Rodriguez have in common? These three kids join other teens and tweens in Gary Soto's new short story collection, in which the hard-knock facts of growing up are captured with humor and poignance. 

Filled with annoying siblings, difficult parents, and first loves, these stories are a masterful reminder of why adolescence is one of the most frustrating and fascinating times of life.

Integrating the 40 Acres: The Fifty-Year Struggle for Racial Equality at the University of Texas 
Paperback University of Georgia Press (January 15, 2012)
ISBN-10: 0820340855 ISBN-13: 978-0820340852
Dwonna Goldstone (Author)

You name it, we can't do it. That was how one African American student at the University of Texas at Austin summed up his experiences in a 1960 newspaper article--some ten years after the beginning of court-mandated desegregation at the school. In this first full-length history of the university's desegregation, Dwonna Goldstone examines how, for decades, administrators only gradually undid the most visible signs of formal segregation while putting their greatest efforts into preventing true racial integration. 

In response to the 1956 Board of Regents decision to admit African American undergraduates, for example, the dean of students and the director of the student activities center stopped scheduling dances to prevent racial intermingling in a social setting.

Goldstone's coverage ranges from the 1950 U.S. Supreme Court ruling that the University of Texas School of Law had to admit Heman Sweatt, an African American, through the 1994 Hopwood v. Texas decision, which ended affirmative action in the state's public institutions of higher education. She draws on oral histories, university documents, and newspaper accounts to detail how the university moved from open discrimination to foot-dragging acceptance to mixed successes in the integration of athletics, classrooms, dormitories, extracurricular activities, and student recruitment. 

Goldstone incorporates not only the perspectives of university administrators, students, alumni, and donors, but also voices from all sides of the civil rights movement at the local and national level. This instructive story of power, race, money, and politics remains relevant to the modern university and the continuing question about what it means to be integrated.

Marginal Workers: How Legal Fault Lines Divide Workers and Leave Them without Protection  
(Citizenship and Migration in the Americas) Hardcover
Ruben J. Garcia

Undocumented and authorized immigrant laborers, female workers, workers of color, guest workers, and unionized workers together compose an enormous and diverse part of the labor force in America. Labor and employment laws are supposed to protect employees from various workplace threats, such as poor wages, bad working conditions, and unfair dismissal. 

Yet as members of individual groups with minority status, the rights of many of these individuals are often dictated by other types of law, such as constitutional and immigration laws. Worse still, the groups who fall into these cracks in the legal system often do not have the political power necessary to change the laws for better protection.

In Marginal Workers, Ruben J. Garcia demonstrates that when it comes to these marginal workers, the sum of the law is less than its parts, and, despite what appears to be a plethora of applicable statutes, marginal workers are frequently lacking in protection. To ameliorate the status of marginal workers, he argues for a new paradigm in worker protection, one based on human freedom and rights, and points to a number of examples in which marginal workers have organized for greater justice on the job in spite of the weakness of the law.

Chicano Satire: A Study in Literary Culture
Paperback University of Texas Press (February 8, 2012)
ISBN-10: 029274112X ISBN-13: 978-0292741126
Guillermo Hernandez (Author)

Geographically close to Mexico, but surrounded by Anglo-American culture in the United States, Chicanos experience many cultural tensions and contradictions. Their lifeways are no longer identical with Mexican norms, nor are they fully assimilated to Anglo-American patterns. Coping with these tensions — knowing how much to let go of, how much to keep — is a common concern of Chicano writers, who frequently use satire as a means of testing norms and deviations from acceptable community standards. In this groundbreaking study, Guillermo Hernández focuses on the uses of satire in the works of three authors — Luis Valdez, Rolando Hinojosa, and José Montoya — and on the larger context of Chicano culture in which satire operates.

Hernández looks specifically at the figures of the pocho (the assimilated Chicano) and the pachuco (the zoot-suiter, or urbanized youth). He shows how changes in their literary treatment—from simple ridicule to more understanding and respect — reflect the culture's changes in attitude toward the process of assimilation.

Hernández also offers many important insights into the process of cultural definition that engaged Chicano writers during the 1960s and 1970s. He shows how the writers imaginatively and syncretically formed new norms for the Chicano experience, based on elements from both Mexican and United States culture but congruent with the historical reality of Chicanos.

With its emphasis on culture change and creation, Chicano Satire will be of interest across a range of human sciences.

Aging, Health, and Longevity in the Mexican-Origin Population
(Social Disparities in Health and Health Care) Hardcover
Springer; 2012 edition (February 9, 2012)
ISBN-10: 1461418666 ISBN-13: 978-1461418665
Jacqueline L. Angel (Editor), Fernando Torres-Gil (Editor), Kyriakos Markides (Editor) 

As the nation’s largest Latino group, the Mexican-origin population will play a major role as America grows older: their situation is vital to understanding our aging, diverse society as national health care policy comes into a new era of analysis and revision. Aging, Health, and Longevity in the Mexican Origin Population identifies current and emerging health issues affecting this demographic, from health care disparities to changing family dynamics to the health implications of the United States’ relationship with Mexico. 

Contributors test the Hispanic Paradox — that Latinos live longer than other Americans despite socioeconomic stresses — as it relates to various aspects of aging. Disability is discussed in social context, in terms of acculturation, family coping measures, access to care, and other key factors. 

And concluding chapters offer strategies for bringing the Mexican-American elder experience into the ongoing debate over health care. Throughout, coverage balances the heterogeneity of the community with its status as emblematic of minority aging and as a microcosm of aging in general. Included among the topics: ·         
  • Immigration, economics, and family: contextualizing disability. ·         
  • Diabetes and employment productivity. ·         
  • The “healthy immigrant effect” and cognitive aging. ·         
  • Nursing home care: separate and unequal. ·         
  • Challenges of aging in place. ·         
  • Estimating the demand for long-term care. 
This book issues, answers, and a clear direction to those studying and working with this dynamic group, including policymakers, social workers, gerontologists, the academic and research communities, and health care professionals.

Lord of the Dawn: The Legend of Quetzalcóatl
Paperback University of New Mexico Press (February 15, 2012)
ISBN-10: 0826351751 ISBN-13: 978-0826351753
Rudolfo Anaya (Author), David M. Johnson (Introduction)

The legend of Quetzalcóatl is the enduring epic myth of Mesoamerica. The gods create the universe, but man must carefully tend to the harmony of the world. Without spiritual attention to harmony, chaos may reign, destroying the universe and civilization.

The ancient Mexicans, like other peoples throughout the world, wrestled with ideas and metaphors by which to know the Godhead and developed their own concepts about their relationship to the universe. Quetzalcóatl came to the Toltecs to teach them art, agriculture, peace, and knowledge. He was a redeemer god, and his story inspires, instructs, and entertains, as do all the great myths of the world.

Now available in paperback, the Lord of the Dawn is Anaya's exploration of the cosmology and the rich and complex spiritual thought of his Native American ancestors. The story depicts the daily world of man, the struggle between the peacemakers and the warmongers, and the world of the gods and their role in the life of mankind.

Mexican Folk Narrative from the Los Angeles Area: Introduction, Notes, and Classification  
(English and Spanish Edition)
Paperback University of Texas Press; Bilingual edition (February 8, 2012)
Language: English, Spanish
ISBN-10: 029274143X ISBN-13: 978-0292741430
Elaine K. Miller (Author)

Urban Los Angeles is the setting in which Elaine Miller has collected her narratives from Mexican-Americans. The Mexican folk tradition, varied and richly expressive of the inner life not only of a people but also of the individual as each lives it and personalizes it, is abundantly present in the United States. 

Since it is in the urban centers that most Mexican-Americans have lived, this collection represents an important contribution to the study of that tradition and to the study of the changes urban life effects on traditional folklore.

The collection includes sixty-two legendary narratives and twenty traditional tales. The legendary narratives deal with the virgins and saints as well as with such familiar characters as the vanishing hitchhiker, the headless horseman, and the llorona. Familiar characters appear in the traditional tales — Juan del Oso, Blancaflor, Pedro de Ordimalas, and others. Elaine Miller concludes that the traditional tales are dying out in the city because tale telling itself is not suited to the fast pace of modern urban life, and the situations and characters in the tales are not perceived by the people to be meaningfully related to the everyday challenges and concerns of that life. 

The legendary tales survive longer in an urban setting because, although containing fantastic elements, they are related to the beliefs and hopes of the narrator — even in the city one may be led to buried treasure on some dark night by a mysterious woman.

Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe
Hardcover Simon & Schuster Books For Young Readers (February 21, 2012)
ISBN-10: 1442408928 ISBN-13: 978-1442408920
Benjamin Alire Saenz (Author) 

Aristotle is an angry teen with a brother in prison. Dante is a know-it-all who has an unusual way of looking at the world. When the two meet at the swimming pool, they seem to have nothing in common. But as the loners start spending time together, they discover that they share a special friendship — the kind that changes lives and lasts a lifetime. And it is through this friendship that Ari and Dante will learn the most important truths about themselves and the kind of people they want to be.

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