Great Plains Studies, Center for


Date of this Version

Fall 2000


Published in Great Plains Research 10 (Fall 2000). Copyright © 2000 The Center for Great Plains Studies, University of Nebraska–Lincoln. Used by permission.


This informative, well-written book on the Mexican American civil rights movement is a valuable reference tool. Entries include biographical sketches of leaders, histories of organizations, legal cases, legislation, court decisions, important historical events, and topics ranging from the myth of Aztlan to the Zoot Suit Riots of 1943, followed by suggestions for further reading. A chronology of the Mexican American civil rights struggle and a detailed index add to the value of the work.

The volume's contribution to knowledge of Mexican Americans on the Great Plains is limited, but the entry discussing the Midwest (150-51) gives basic information about migration into the region, the part Chicanos played as agricultural and industrial workers, and their regional self-identification and separateness after 1970. There is no entry, however, on the sugar beet industry and its efforts to create a proletarian class of Mexican workers tied permanently to this industry on the northern Great Plains.