Although the designation now applies to American citizens of Mexican ethnicity writ large, the term Mexican American (hyphenated or not) also refers to the...

Although the designation now applies to American citizens of Mexican ethnicity writ large, the term Mexican American (hyphenated or not) also refers to the rising generation of ethnic Mexicans born and raised in the U.S. that came into adulthood during the Great Depression, World War II, and the early Cold War years. In a new biography, George I. Sanchez: The Long Fight for Mexican American Integration (Yale University Press, 2015) Professor of History at Texas A&M University Carlos Kevin Blanton provides the first in-depth study of one of the Mexican American generation’s most prolific intellectuals and activists. Born into humble circumstances in rural New Mexico in 1906, George I. Sanchez became a tireless and tremendously influential academic, policy advisor, and activist who devoted his career to battling poverty and discrimination against Mexican Americans throughout the Southwest. Whether engaged in teaching as a professor of education at the University of Texas, a researcher for numerous governmental and non-profit foundations, or as a leader and collaborator of civil rights organizations like LULAC, AGIF, ACLU, and the NAACP, Sanchez was a racial integrationist ahead of his time. In this thorough and empathetic portrait of one of the mid-twentiethcentury’s most innovative educators and activists, Professor Blanton challenges previous interpretations of the Mexican American Generation’s sense of identity, as well as their contributions to civil rights reform and Cold War liberalism.

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