The Making of a Mexican American Mayor

Raymond L. Telles of El Paso and the Origins of Latino Political Power

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Raymond L. Telles was the first Mexican American mayor of a major U.S. city. Elected mayor of El Paso in 1957 and serving for two terms, he went on to become the first Mexican American ambassador in U.S. history, heading the U.S. delegation to Costa Rica. Historian Mario T. García brings Telles’s remarkable story to life in this newly updated edition of his pioneering biography, The Making of a Mexican American Mayor.

In the border metropolis of El Paso, more than half the population is Mexican American, yet this group had been denied effective political representation. Mexican Americans broke this barrier and achieved the “politics of status” through Telles’s stunning 1957 victory. This book captures the excitement of that long-awaited election.

The Making of a Mexican American Mayor also examines Telles’s story as a microcosm of the history of Mexican Americans before and after World War II—the Mexican American Generation. As mayor and ambassador, Telles symbolized this generation’s striving for political participation, and his legacy is evident in the growing number of Latinas/os holding office today.
"This political biography of Raymond L. Telles provides a timely reminder of the promise, accomplishments, and limitations of Latina/o political power in the twentieth century."—Southwestern Historical Quarterly

“The new edition of this book is fantastic news for students and scholars. Mario T. García has done an amazing job chronicling the remarkable rise to political prominence of a Mexican American leader. An inspiring story of determination to succeed against great odds.”—Oscar J. Martínez, author of Ciudad Juárez: Saga of a Legendary Border City

“This pioneering study stands the test of time. The growing number of Latina/o political figures in local, state, and federal governments is a testament to Telles’s impact and significance.”—Miguel Antonio Levario, author of Militarizing the Border: When Mexicans Became the Enemy

Praise for the First Edition:

“A neglected chapter of Mexican American history is brought to light in this beauty of a book.”—Pacific Historical Review
“Mario T. García provides a highly readable biography of an important and underestimated politician and by so doing weaves a larger picture of the Mexican American struggle for recognition as first-class citizens.”—Hispanic Outlook in Higher Education
The Making of a Mexican American Mayor
248 Pages 6 x 9
Published: October 2018Paperback ISBN: 9780816536344
Published: October 2018Ebook ISBN: 9780816539031

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