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Tejano South Texas: A Mexican American Cultural Province (Jack and Doris Smothers Series in Texas History, Life, and Culture) Hardcover – April 15, 2002

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Editorial Reviews

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For over twenty years Dan Arreola has been writing imaginatively about ethnic landscapes, Mexican-American geography and the character of Borderland cities. In his latest book, Tejano South Texas, Arreola offers a fascinating look at a small but vital vernacular region within this vast state, exploring what makes its rural and urban features geographically distinctive. He portrays a changing region that has had different personalities at different times. In the best traditions of cultural and historical geography, he uses two approaches—impeccable field work and thorough archival research, and all in two languages. The book treats the land occupied, the spaces created by Texas-Mexicans in town and country, their social identities, and the essence of the region as a cultural province. It draws in findings in anthropology, folklore, sociology, urban design, and architecture but makes them serve geographical ends. It employs diverse sources in innovative fashion—local terminology, phone books, menus, even the author's outstanding personal collection of borderlands postcards—to tell an intimate and engaging story of people and landscape. And above all the book is highly readable. Written in an approachable style that will appeal to scholars, business owners, farmers, ranchers and anyone with curiosity, Tejano South Texas represents the very kind of geographical writing that the late J. B. Jackson so encouraged and applauded. (Association of American Geographers )

Review

Arreola's major contribution...is that he is the first to argue explicitly that this particular delineated region of Texas is a Tejano homeland.... His book will find a readership among geographers, historians, sociologists, anthropologists, and the general reading public. (Andrés Tijerina, author of Tejano Empire: Life on the South Texas Ranchos )
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Product Details

  • Series: Jack and Doris Smothers Series in Texas History, Life, and Culture (Book 5)
  • Hardcover: 288 pages
  • Publisher: University of Texas Press; 1 edition (April 15, 2002)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0292705107
  • ISBN-13: 978-0292705104
  • Product Dimensions: 9.2 x 6.3 x 1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.4 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #9,557,138 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful By M. A Michaud on April 11, 2004
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
In this objective, well-balanced study, Daniel Arreola gives us a convincing overview of a distinctive cultural region. His historical chapters provide a clear background for South Texas's strong cultural ties with Mexico, which have been maintained since Texas became a U.S. state. Arreola found that, along the Texas border, no less than thirty-two counties are more than fifty per cent Mexican-American; in twenty of them, more than 70 per cent of the people are of Mexican ancestry. The city of Laredo, a major transit point for Mexican-American trade, is more than ninety per cent Mexican-American. Arreola provides detailed ethnic analyses of some cities, including San Antonio, showing how some are geographically divided into Mexican and Anglo areas. He comments on the region's distinctive cultural traditions, including public celebrations and food (one of the many maps shows the line between the taco and barbecue cultures in Texas). South Texas has been politically distinct as well, giving birth to the Chicano movement. Some communities are setting precedents in the educational and legal uses of Spanish, in effect making it an official language. Written in clear English, this book deserves attention from those involved the question of Mexican immigration.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Southwest Texas Conference on April 21, 2014
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Daniel D. Arreola offers a very insightful study of the cultural dynamics at play in South Texas, especially those that make it a unique, overlooked, and isolated region. I would recommend this book to anyone who lives and works in South Texas and would like to reflect on the cultural factors that frame life in this area.
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on December 2, 2014
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Nice book
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Tejano South Texas: A Mexican American Cultural Province (Jack and Doris Smothers Series in Texas History, Life, and Culture)
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