Documents of the Chicano Movement
by Roger Bruns
January 2018, 187pp, 7x10
1 volume, ABC-CLIO

Hardcover: 978-1-4408-5449-1
$103, £80, 90€, A142
eBook Available: 978-1-4408-5450-7
Please contact your preferred eBook vendor for pricing.

In 1972, Mexican American ex-prizefighter Rodolfo Gonzales published Yo Soy Joaquín, an iconic poem that sought to describe the Chicano identity and experience

This book provides original source documents—from firsthand accounts to media responses to legislation—regarding the Chicano movement of the 1960s through 1970s. Readers will understand the key events, individuals, and developments of La Causa: Chicanos uniting to free themselves from exploitation.

The 1960s was a time of the burgeoning black Civil Rights movement, when society and politics were divided over the war in Vietnam and public violence became “normal” in the form of police response to protests and assassinations of leaders. It was also a time that witnessed the beginning of a movement to secure justice and rights on behalf of Mexican-Americans and other Latinos. It was the Chicano movement. Documents of the Chicano Movement: Eyewitness to History presents some 50 primary historical documents, each prefaced by a succinct introductory essay. Because the Chicano movement comprised disparate groups and leaders from across the nation, the book will be divided into several sections that acknowledge these separate but connected efforts, each headed by its own introduction.

Through its detailed coverage of approximately two decades, the book highlights key topics that include the fight of farm workers to establish a union; the so-called “Land-Grant Struggle” to reclaim areas of the Southwest ceded in the Treaty of Guadalupe Hildago; the establishment in New Mexico of the Crusade for Justice, an organization that promoted a nationalistic agenda; the growth of the urban Chicano student movement and its drive for educational reform; the Chicano Antiwar Moratorium protests; and the eventual rise of Chicano political power with the birth of the La Raza Unida Party.

The breadth of primary documents include materials from archives, manuscript repositories, newspapers, government documents, public speeches and addresses, first-person accounts from individuals who participated directly in the Chicano movement, legal decisions, pamphlets, and essays. The documents not only tell a vivid, engaging story but also provide students and researchers with valuable resources for use in other works.


  • Provides readers with original source documents that trace the origins and accomplishments of the Chicano movement—a national effort of a minority group to gain civil rights, to strive for political and social advancement, and to establish and take pride in their unique cultural identity
  • Presents compelling insights into how numerous Chicano individuals during the turbulent era of the 1960s–1970s were inspired to stand up and fight against the social, cultural, and legal injustices suffered by Latinos in the United States for generations
  • Offers historical documentation of how political activism and organization can not only challenge entrenched interests but sometimes succeed
Roger Bruns is a historian and former deputy executive director of the National Historical Publications and Records Commission at the National Archives in Washington, DC. He is the author of many books, including Knights of the Road: A Hobo History; Encyclopedia of Cesar Chavez: The Farm Workers' Fight for Rights and Justice; Icons of Latino America: Latino Contributions to American Culture; Preacher: Billy Sunday and Big-Time American Evangelism; Negro Leagues Baseball; and Almost History: Close Calls, Plan B's, and Twists of Fate in America's Past. He has written several biographies for young readers on such figures as Cesar Chavez and Martin Luther King Jr.

Eyewitness to History

ABC-CLIO’s Eyewitness to History series provides primary documents accompanied by invaluable contextualizing information to help readers understand historical developments, events, and individuals. The books’ format allows for a remarkable range of documents that showcase a wide variety of perspectives, including personal narratives, letters, and first-hand accounts; newspaper stories, op-ed pieces, and contemporary reactions and responses; and government and legislative documents, such as laws, speeches, and court testimony.

Each title in the series offers a fascinating documentary history devoted to a significant era, event, or social movement. The carefully curated primary sources give the actual words of people who lived through these past times, empowering today’s readers and researchers to consider the topic critically, fairly, and intelligently.
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