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Book Explores Tejanos, Mexican Revolution

February 28, 2012

A new book edited by Dr. Arnoldo De León and including chapters by him and Dr. John Eusebio Klingemann, a fellow member of Angelo State University’s history faculty, examines the impact of the Mexican Revolution on Tejano communities along the Texas-Mexico border.

War Along The Border:  The Mexican Revolution and Tejano Communities, which won the 2011 Robert A. Calvert Book Prize, has been published by Texas A&M University Press.  The book represents the first significant treatment of how the Revolution spilled over the border and affected the political, cultural and economic conditions of Mexican-Americans in Texas. 

De León said the book’s main objective is “to explain the nexus between the revolution and the Mexican-American experience in Texas.”  Secondarily, the book seeks to highlight the scholarly possibilities for historians to explore in broadening the understanding of this period and its impact on the Tejano experience as a part of Texas history. 

In his chapter, “The Mexican Revolution’s Impact on Tejano Communities: The Historiographic Record,” De León examines the available historical scholarship on the topic and explains how historians view the way in which the revolution shaped the Texas-Mexican experience.  He also offers suggestions for topics worth further historical study.

Klingemann titled his chapter “The Population Is Overwhelmingly Mexican; Most of It Is in Sympathy with the Revolution….Mexico’s Revolution of 1910 and the Tejano Community in the Big Bend,” and explores the effect the revolution had on a region normally considered out of the mainstream of events from that time. 

To be learned, according to Klingemann, was the Revolution’s impact on communities as those fleeing the turmoil settled in Big Bend towns and villages, contributing to their growth and, in some cases, using those communities as springboards to opportunities in the U.S. interior. 

The book received the Calvert Prize as the best manuscript submitted in 2010 to Texas A&M University Press on the history of the American South, West or Southwest.  War Along the Border is the 20th book authored, co-authored or edited by De León.