Mario T. Garcia
The Chicano Generation
Testimonios of the Movement
University of California Press, 2015 2015
New Books in American StudiesNew Books in HistoryNew Books in Latino StudiesNew Books in Peoples & PlacesNew Books in Politics & SocietyNew Books in the American WestNew Books Network November 12, 2015 David-James Gonzales
As multifaceted as it was multinucleated, the Chicana/o Movement of the late-1960s and 1970s was “the largest and most widespread civil rights and empowerment struggle by Mexican Americans in U.S. history.” Since the early 2000s, scholarship on El Movimiento has blossomed, initiating a process of excavation that has revealed the multiple sites, issues, participants, and strategies engaged in this broad struggle for self determination and social justice. In The Chicano Generation: Testimonios of the Movement (University of California Press, 2015), Mario T. Garcia, Professor of Chicano Studies at the University of California, Santa Barbara, assists in this process by centering on Los Angeles, “the political capital of the movement,” and the lives of three of the city’s most prominent activists, Raul Ruiz, Gloria Arellanes, and Rosalio Munoz. To tell their stories, Dr. Garcia employs the testimonio, a narrative form that works as a sort of collaborative oral history or “collaborative autobiography” that provides a “testimony of the life, struggles, and experiences of activists who might not have written their own stories.” The result is a deeply personal and informative account of the movement, told in the first person, through the eyes of those who lived it.