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Andrés Tijerina holds degrees from Texas A&M University, Texas Tech University, and the University of Texas. He is currently an assistant professor in the history department at Austin Community College in Austin, Texas.
Popular histories of Texas abound with self-legitimizing grand narratives and myths and written by arm-chair historians whose sole qualification sometimes is that they are multiple-generation Texans. Some extoll the inexorability of the westward expansion of the Anglo-Celt pioneer, or the defense of self-described legends, or even minimize the impact that the Tejano had on Texas and Texan culture. All is not bleak, though. Reviewing my daughter's junior high Texas history text, I see that there have been quantum improvements in the way Texas history is presented, compared to the way it was presented when I was in junior high, a generation ago. More recent scholarly works have been synthesized into these texts to present a more balanced and more historically accurate representation of the past. It is scholarly studies, such as Tijerina's Tejanos & Texas Under the Mexican Flag, that are ever so slowly working their way up into the historiographical consciousness and providing the information for better school texts and hopefully more accurate popular history. Professor Tijerina begins his book by challenging Frederick Jackson Turner's frontier thesis and Walter Prescott Webb's variation on the Turnerian theme that the Anglo-American character and the historical development of Anglo-American culture was indelibly shaped by the frontier and westward expansion. Tijerina argues that there were other forces also at play that Turner's and Webb's theses did not take into account . As Francis Bannon reminded us a generation ago, "nowhere in the [Spanish] Borderlands was the Anglo-American a pioneer." Using assorted primary sources as well as secondary works, Tijerina traces the history of Tejanos during this short but chaotic period in Mexican Texas history.Read more ›
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This serious, scholarly treatment of South Texas history focuses at first on the way Spanish customs, traditions, and ranching skills (some of which date back a thousand years to the influence of the Moors) helped the earliest settlers establish viable ranching communities in the Texas wilderness. The author then documents the political machinations that eventually led to the prosperous and successful settlements by Austin and Houston. Although the account of the rapid disenfranchisement of many early Tejano families was painful to read, the author's careful use of sources and his parallel account in "Tejano Empire" tell an amazing story. Andres Tijerina has become my latest literary hero.
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Dr. Tijerina is notorious for his didication to and knowledge of Texas history. i havent read the book, but i am in his class and i have never had better instruction in history. If you are doing research in the area of Texas, he is your man.