"His forging of ideas only makes for newer ideas thought of before but never quite so articulated. This is what is so essential about this work; perhaps it should have been titled 'Essential Writing for an Insurgent Aztlán.'"
Armando Arias, Ph.D., CSU Monterey Bay
Insurgent Aztlán The Liberating Power of Cultural Resistance reconstructs the relationship between social political insurgent theory and Xicano literature, film and myth. Based on decades of organizing experience and scholarly review of the writings of recognized observers and leaders of the process of national liberation movements, the author, Ernesto Todd Mireles, shares a remarkable work of scholarship that incorporates not only the essence of earlier resistance writing, but provides a new paradigm of liberation guidelines for the particular situation of Mexican Americans.
Mireles makes a solid case for addressing the decades-long decline of Mexican American identity within itself and broadly among sectors of American society by asserting the powerful role of culture and history, each value unable to exist without the other, in the preservation and political advancement of a people. In the case of Mexican Americans, which consists of an estimated 40 million people and boasts the highest birth rate in the U.S., they constitute “a nation within a nation.”
The intellectual challenge, Mireles asserts, is connecting insurgent social political theory with the existing body of Xicano literature, film and myth. The organizing challenge is how to build an insurgent identity that fosters a “return to history” to build a consensus among Mexican Americans, who are a complex collective of culturally, educationally, politically, and economically diverse people, to reclaim their historical presence in the Americas and the world.
Insurgent Aztlán must be read by students from high school to graduate studies, their professors, organizers in the fields and factories, union shops, and urban community organizations, wherever Mexican Americans sense the need to re-evaluate their goals and aspirations for themselves and their families.
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