The Making of a Mexican American Mayor
Raymond L. Telles of El Paso and the Origins of Latino Political Power
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 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
“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