Latino Studies

, Volume 17, Issue 4, pp 570–572 | Cite as

Before Chicano: Citizenship and the making of Mexican American manhood, 1848–1959

Alberto Varon, New York University Press, New York, 2018, 336 pp., $35, ISBN: 978-1479831197 (paperback)
  • Luis A. MarentesEmail author
Book Review

Before Chicanoexplores the construction, performance and representation of Mexican American manhood in a transnational print culture as a strategy for gaining and securing the rights and protections that citizenship implied within the US, while “affirming more expansive and inclusive notions of citizenship that distinguished between local, regional, and national political participation” (pp. 3–4). Through a chronological study of five “major figures or types of Mexican American manhood” (p. 3), Varon explores different strategies for participating in the US national polity, while simultaneously asserting one’s sovereignty. In his focus on citizenship and political and social participation, Varon questions the “prevailing, facile, and often flawed associations between Mexican Americans and immigration that typecast Mexican Americans as immigrants” (p. 1), while also calling on readers to “move beyond a resistance paradigm … of both Chicano and Latino Studies” (p. 21). He offers...


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© Springer Nature Limited 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.University of Massachusetts AmherstAmherstUSA

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