The Tejano Diaspora

Mexican Americanism and Ethnic Politics in Texas and Wisconsin

By Marc Simon Rodriguez

256 pp., 5.5 x 8.5, 7 halftones, 3 maps, notes, bibl., index

  • Paperback ISBN: 978-1-4696-1388-8
    Published: February 2014
  • E-book EPUB ISBN: 978-0-8078-7766-1
    Published: April 2011
  • E-book PDF ISBN: 979-8-8908-7797-0
    Published: April 2011

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Awards & distinctions

2012 NACCS Tejas Nonfiction Book Award, National Association for Chicana and Chicano Studies, Tejas Foco

Each spring during the 1960s and 1970s, a quarter million farm workers left Texas to travel across the nation, from the Midwest to California, to harvest America's agricultural products. During this migration of people, labor, and ideas, Tejanos established settlements in nearly all the places they traveled to for work, influencing concepts of Mexican Americanism in Texas, California, Wisconsin, Michigan, and elsewhere. In The Tejano Diaspora, Marc Simon Rodriguez examines how Chicano political and social movements developed at both ends of the migratory labor network that flowed between Crystal City, Texas, and Wisconsin during this period.

Rodriguez argues that translocal Mexican American activism gained ground as young people, activists, and politicians united across the migrant stream. Crystal City, well known as a flash point of 1960s-era Mexican Americanism, was a classic migrant sending community, with over 80 percent of the population migrating each year in pursuit of farm work. Wisconsin, which had a long tradition of progressive labor politics, provided a testing ground for activism and ideas for young movement leaders. By providing a view of the Chicano movement beyond the Southwest, Rodriguez reveals an emergent ethnic identity, discovers an overlooked youth movement, and interrogates the meanings of American citizenship.

Published in association with the William P. Clements Center for Southwest Studies at Southern Methodist University in Dallas, Texas

About the Author

Marc Simon Rodriguez is associate professor of history at Portland State University and managing editor of the Pacific Historical Review.

For more information about Marc Simon Rodriguez, visit the Author Page.


“Rodriquez reveals an emergent ethnic identity, discovers an overlooked youth movement, and interrogates the meanings of American citizenship.”--Pluma Fronteriza Blog

"Read this book. Highly recommended. All levels/libraries."--Choice

“Important . . . . Rodriguez’s book has national implications for U.S. civil rights history. The links between the Midwest and Chicano activism are now clear.”--American Historical Review

“Elucidating. . . . [A] provocative treatment of the Tejano diaspora.”--Southwestern Historical Quarterly

“Brings new insight to the Chicano movement.”--Journal of Southern History

“In The Tejano Diaspora, [Rodriguez] has successfully given testament to the many people, unions, government agencies, and conflicts that contributed to the rise of Mexican American political power throughout the U.S., thereby filling a large gap in the fields of U.S. labor, civil rights, and Mexican American histories.”--Texas Books in Review