“El Cinco de Mayo does what I once thought impossible: explain the relevance and the importance of commemorating this day.”
(Susana Olague Trapani Washington Ind Rev Of Bks
“A highly readable and important analysis not only of the holiday’s origins but also of the native-born and immigrant Latino communities that created it.”
(Southern California Quarterly
From the Inside Flap
David Hayes-Bautista’s fascinating study finds new sources that illuminate the California roots of Cinco de Mayo celebrations. But more than just uncovering the holiday’s true origins, El Cinco de Mayo offers a striking interpretation of the making of a Mexican-American culture in Civil War-Era North America.”Stephen Aron, author of American Confluence: The Missouri Frontier from Borderland to Border State.
In this well-written and thoroughly-researched study, Hayes-Bautista reminds us that Cinco de Mayo is not really a Mexican holiday, but rather a celebration created in California during the American Civil War by native-born Latinos and immigrants from Mexico and Latin America. Hayes-Bautista has reconstructed the rich social and political world of these California Latinos in painstaking detail, and his analysis of their widespread political engagement reveals an activism hitherto not fully recognized. This is an original and revealing book that changes the way we think about nineteenth century California.”Richard Griswold del Castillo, author of The Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo: A Legacy of Conflict.