The book, Mestizaje: Introducción a la cultura mexicoamericana, is basically an intermediate-level cultural reader for university Spanish-language students. It introduces students to the culture and history of Mexican-Americans from their pre-Columbian origin to the present. In addition to Spanish-language students, the book will also be of relevance and interest to students in Mexican-American studies, ethnic studies, and folklore in general. The subject of the book is important because of a nationwide effort to comprehend cultural diversity in the United States, and it is incumbent on our educational system to provide the research and dissemination of information which will help to achieve this national goal.
Written in an easy-flowing, narrative style, the reader differs from other books on this subject because it treats each topical chapter in a chronological and evolutionary manner so that the reader is made aware of the foundation and process of cultural development from its Indian-Spanish origin to its present day hybridized forms consisting of Spanish, Native-American, Mexican, African, and Anglo-American elements.
Effort at various universities across the nation to come to grips with cultural diversity necessitates the need for works which will aid in this evolving effort. The author’s experience as a professor of Mexican-American studies, and as a native member of the population, give him a unique insight into the sociocultural intricacies which comprise this ethnic group. Mestizaje: Introducción a la cultura mexicoamericana reflects this unique insight and addresses the need for works in cultural diversity.