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noSouthwestern Historical QuarterlyJuly through the region, and after curing hundreds ofpeople, he then disappeared. The second mystery involves the large cliff that hung over Chaco Canyon for centuries until it crashed down on part of Pueblo Bonito in 1941. And finally, Szasz tells us of a litde known munitions explosion that devastated tiny Tolar on the eastern plains of the state in 1944. AU of these aspects and more of New Mexico's twentieth -century history are defdy covered by Szasz in Larger Than Life. His clear prose, keen eye for historic details, and interweaving of the state's past with national and international events are a delight to read. Szasz shows how New Mexico, on the periphery of the nation's attention at the beginning of the last century, became a major player and at times was even at the center of events during World War II and then the Cold War. New Mexico State UniversityJon Hunner A Legacy Greater Than Words: Stories ofU.S. Latinos andLatinas ofthe World WarIIGeneration . Edited by Maggie Rivas-Rodriguez,JulianaA. Torres, Melissa DiPiero-D'Sa, and Lindsay Fitzpatrick. (Austin: U.S. Latino and Latina World War II Oral History Project, University ofTexas Press, 2006. Pp. 344. Foreword, black-andwhite photographs, index. ISBN 978-0-292-71418-1. $29.95, paper.) There has been renewed interest in World War II over the past few years, with books written, movies produced, and memorials built to commemorate what has been termed by some as the "greatest generation." Yet the focus of these efforts has been on white, male combatants, with minorities, women, and those on the home front receiving less attention. Even among Chicano historians, this period in history is often treated as a springboard for the civil rights movement of the 1960s and 1970s rather than an important era in its own right. The U.S. Latino and Latina World War II Oral History Project seeks to correct this imbalance by collecting hundreds ofinterviews ofmen and women, soldiers and civilians, citizens and migrant workers, who contributed to the war effort. Begun in iggg by Maggie Rivas-Rodriguez under the auspices of the University of Texas at Austin Department ofJournalism, in the College of Communication, the fruits of this project have been condensed into a single volume, A Legacy Greater Than Words: Stories of U.S. Latinos and Latinas ofthe World WarII Generation. The book begins with a discussion of the project's methodology, including the mechanics of the interview process. This is a nice addition, particularly for those readers who would like to add an oral history to their archives or organize a similar project. The rest of the book contains short biographies culled from the oral histories, often accompanied by a photograph ofthe individual being profiled. Thumbing through the stories one is struck by the variety of experiences, from teenage boys leaving the farm to go fight in the Pacific Islands to young women leaving their hometowns to work in various federal agencies in Washington D.C. The first three chapters are divided by geography (European and Pacific theaters and lesser-known war zones in Asia and the Americas). Each of these chapters is prefaced with a concise and well-written overview of the war, which should be par- 2007Book Reviews1 1 1 ticularly helpful to those readers who are unfamiliar with the history ofWorld War II. Chapter Four is dedicated to interviews with Latinas and their participation in the military, in federal agencies, and in the war factories. The last chapter looks at the lives of these individuals after the war. Among these interviews are accounts of individuals who went on to become prominent political leaders, business leaders, educators, and civil rights activists. A Legacy Greater Than Words: Stories ofU.S. Latinos and Latinas ofthe World WarII Generation is not the final word on this subject; the oral history archives will hopefully expand as the urgency to collect these vanishing histories grows with each passing year. This publication is an excellent starting point for further scholarship on this subject. Finally, it might also spur some people to ask questions of their parents, grandparents, aunts, and uncles about their experiences and in the process...

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Additional Information

ISSN
1558-9560
Print ISSN
0038-478X
Pages
pp. 110-111
Launched on MUSE
2011-07-06
Open Access
No
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