Manuel Gonzales, history professor at Diablo Valley College since 1971, has published a second edition of his book, Mexicanos: A History of Mexicans in the United States, with Indiana University Press. It was released August 1. Gonzales teaches history of the American West and U.S. history at DVC.
Gonzales wrote the first book, which was published in 1999, because he wanted to draw a portrait of Mexicanos in the US, both native-born and immigrants. “I felt that previous works, which were very celebratory, lacked credibility,” he said. “There was a need for greater objectivity.”
Mexicanos, he said, “is a synthesis of scholarship in the field, but is also a critique of this scholarship. The book has been popular both with academics and with the public because of demographic trends: Mexicans have not only continued to immigrate in large numbers to the United States, but in the last 20 years they have been immigrating to all parts of the United States, including New England and the Deep South.” The book, Gonzales said, “is used as a textbook in college courses. Academics like it because it is the only history of Mexican Americans published by an academic press.” Mexicanos also has been incorporated into traditional U.S. history textbooks and therefore can be found in many bibliographies.
Gonzales said it took him about a year to rewrite the book, and he added a chapter, “The Hispanic Challenge, 1994-Present,” covering 1994 to 2008. It includes new sections on sports, which were omitted in the initial edition altogether, and the military, areas where Mexicano contributions have been neglected in the past. He also compiled new bibliographies, added appendices, and added pictures and maps.