Synopses & Reviews
and#147;David Hayes-Bautistaand#8217;s fascinating study finds new sources that illuminate the California roots of Cinco de Mayo celebrations. But more than just uncovering the holidayand#8217;s true origins, El Cinco de Mayo
offers a striking interpretation of the making of a Mexican-American culture in Civil War-Era North America.and#8221;and#151;Stephen Aron, author of American Confluence: The Missouri Frontier from Borderland to Border State
and#147;In this well-written and thoroughly-researched study, Hayes-Bautista reminds us that Cinco de Mayo is not really a Mexican holiday, but rather a celebration created in California during the American Civil War by native-born Latinos and immigrants from Mexico and Latin America. Hayes-Bautista has reconstructed the rich social and political world of these California Latinos in painstaking detail, and his analysis of their widespread political engagement reveals an activism hitherto not fully recognized. This is an original and revealing book that changes the way we think about nineteenth century California.and#8221;and#151;Richard Griswold del Castillo, author of The Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo: A Legacy of Conflict.
and#8220;El Cinco de Mayo does what I once thought impossible: explain the relevance and the importance of commemorating this day.and#8221;
and#8220;A highly readable and important analysis not only of the holidayand#8217;s origins but also of the native-born and immigrant Latino communities that created it.and#8221;
"An important contribution to the canons of American and Latino social and cultural history."
"A valuable work for the general reader, students, and scholars interested in the history of Mexican Americans and the US West."
Why is Cinco de Mayoand#151;a holiday commemorating a Mexican victory over the French at Puebla in 1862and#151;so widely celebrated in California and across the United States, when it is scarcely observed in Mexico? As David E. Hayes-Bautista explains, the holiday is not Mexican at all, but rather an American one, created by Latinos in California during the mid-nineteenth century. Hayes-Bautista shows how the meaning of Cinco de Mayo has shifted over timeand#151;it embodied immigrant nostalgia in the 1930s, U.S. patriotism during World War II, Chicano Power in the 1960s and 1970s, and commercial intentions in the 1980s and 1990s. Today, it continues to reflect the aspirations of a community that is engaged, empowered, and expanding.
About the Author
David E. Hayes-Bautista is Professor of Medicine and Director of the Center for the Study of Latino Health and Culture at the David Geffen School of Medicine at the University of California, Los Angeles. He is the author of La Nueva California: Latinos in the Golden State (UC Press).
Table of Contents
List of Illustrations
1. Before the American Civil War
2. The First Battle of Puebla, 1862
3. The American Civil War and the Second Battle of Puebla
4. The Juntas Patriand#243;ticas Mejicanas Blossom
5. One War, Three Fronts
6. Shaping and Reshaping the Cinco de Mayo, 1868?2011