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20ogBook Reviews461 Unfortunately, Roybal's skill in utilizing Chavez's own words to recapture die visceral power of a youdiful social and political awakening is rarely applied elsewhere in the narrative, which often seems aimless, disorganized, impersonal, and inadequately contextualized. Nevertheless, some readers already familiar with Chavez and New Mexico politics will find much of interest in Roybal's account. Political scientists, for instance (or even self-identified "political junkies" for that matter), will likely find significant utility in Roybal's vivid recreation of intra-party squabbles and backroom legislative debates. For many others, however, conclusions as to the book's broader value and utility are slightly more ambiguous. Historians interested in understanding Chavez's or New Mexico's placement within an emerging Sunbelt or die transformations in partisan identification and power during die last several decades of the twentieth century will likely come away disappointed. Roybal repeatedly alludes to significant national trends or developments, out of which some comment on New Mexico's role would be quite valuable. Unfortunately, Roybal consistently brushes past these moments in favor of a more detailed and traditional political narrative. In recent decades, many historical biographers have succeeded in reshaping the goals and objectives of political biography, using main characters as lenses through which studies of political movements and cultures might be more critically assessed. Roybal's biography does not do this, though the audior has clearly identified a topic and an individual out ofwhich such an analysis might be contributed. Radier, readers are left with a reasonably well-written but ultimately myopic study of an individual whose role in shaping race, economic, and judicial policy is treated without even momentarily assessing the impact of race, economic, or judicial change on the citizens of New Mexico. Put another way, Roybal's study of Fabián Chavez provides a comprehensive overview of vote totals, but very little information about the voters providing those totals and whose needs Fabián Chavez worked so hard to defend. That is, perhaps, an unfair criticism: After all, Roybal's clear intent was to author a biography of Fabián Chavez. In this most basic of goals, he succeeds. Perhaps Roybal's greatest success, however, is in leaving the reader with an unquenched thirst for knowing more about New Mexico politics and the role of that state in the dynamic and ever-complex world of Sunbelt politics. Texas Tech UniversitySean P. Cunningham Twentieth-Century Texas: A Social and Cultural History. Edited byJohn W. Storey and Mary L. Kelley. (Denton: University of North Texas, 2008. Pp. 486. Illustrations, notes, index. ISBN 9781574412451, $39.95 cloth; ISBN 97815744!246S, $18.95 paper). Twentieth-Century Texas: A Social and Cultural History is a recent andiology of a new generation ofscholars, covering various topics concerning the historical development and progress ofTexas during the last century. Major topics range from race and edmic identity to religious diversity to sports history. The purpose of die text is to offer a comprehensive and up-to-date account ofthe twentieth century. 462Southwestern Historical QuarterlyApril The first four chapters examine the experiences of racial minorities and women, including dieir encounters with pervasive racism, political activism, and the search for equality and inclusion in mainstream Texas society. Gerald Betty's "Manifestations of the Lone Star: The Search for Indian Sovereignty," focuses on the three official tribes in Texas—the Alabama-Coushatta, the Tigua, and the Kickapoo. His essay primarily emphasizes how the government and U.S. courts influenced die restoration of tribal sovereignty, but he does not fully explain the assimilation of Indians living in die city. The chapters by Anthony Quiroz and Cary Wintz both offer splendid assessments of how Mexican Americans and African Americans struggled to overcome conditions of inequality and forge an identity for themselves as full-fledged U.S. citizens through their participation in civil-rights activism. One mistake made by Quiroz is citing Henry Cisneros as the first Mexican-American mayor of a major U.S. city, San Antonio. Quiroz fails to acknowledge that Raymond L. Telles Jr. successfully campaigned and won the mayoral election of El Paso in 1957. Additionally, President John F. Kennedy appointed Telles as Ambassador to Costa Rica. In "From Farm...

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Additional Information

ISSN
1558-9560
Print ISSN
0038-478X
Pages
pp. 461-462
Launched on MUSE
2011-07-06
Open Access
No
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