The Mexican American Experience

Mexican Americans are rapidly becoming the largest minority in the United States, playing a vital role in the culture of the American Southwest and beyond. This A-to-Z guide offers comprehensive coverage of the Mexican American experience. Entries range from figures such as Corky Gonzales, Joan Baez, and Nancy Lopez to general entries on bilingual education, assimilation, border culture, and southwestern agriculture. Court cases, politics, and events such as the Delano Grape Strike all receive full coverage, while the definitions and significance of terms such as coyote and Tejano are provided in shorter entries. Taking a historical approach, this book's topics date back to the 1848 Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo, a radical turning point for Mexican Americans, as they lost their lands and found themselves thrust into an alien social and legal system. The entries trace Mexican Americans' experience as a small, conquered minority, their growing influence in the 20th century, and the essential roles their culture plays in the borderlands, or the American Southwest, in the 21st century.