Beginning with indigenous groups of Mesoamerican, the text moves through the Spanish conquest and its legacy, the formation of the Mexican nation-state, and Anglo-colonization of the west.
Section One begins with a timeline of the history of Mesoamerica. Students will learn about the Mayan Book of the Dawn of Life, Gods and kings of the Mesoamerican period, and the Aztecs.
Section Two covers the Spanish entrance into Mexico, the role of the Catholic church in colonization, the rise of Hispaniola and New Spain, and the establishment of the Spanish Frontier. The exploitation of gold and silver, and social stresses in the late colonial period round out the section, effectively addressing this important time of transition and change.
Section Three examines Mexican history all the way through the postwar years, 1945- 1963. Students learn about the social conditions that lead to the rise of the Chicano movement, and efforts to achieve social, political, and economic equality.
With readings selections that are both thoughtfully chosen and intellectually sound, Chicanos in the United States provides an outstanding introduction to the diverse elements that combined over time to create a vibrant new American culture.
John E.Valdez teaches Chicano Studies at Palomar College. A member of the Oxford Round Table, Professor Alvarez has presented on topics of multiculturalism in American, American foreign policy, the oral history of the Mexican-American community from the Mexican Revolution to World War II in Lemon Grove, California, and the life of Cesar Chavez as well as his struggle for social justice.