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The Making of a Mexican American Mayor: Raymond L. Telles of El Paso and the Origins of Latino Political Power
by Mario T. García
University of Arizona Press, 2018
eISBN: 978-0-8165-3903-1 | Paper: 978-0-8165-3634-4
Library of Congress Classification F394.E4G365 2018
Dewey Decimal Classification 976.496063092

ABOUT THIS BOOK | AUTHOR BIOGRAPHY | TOC
ABOUT THIS BOOK
Raymond L. Telles was the first Mexican American mayor of a major U.S. city. Elected mayor of El Paso in 1957 and serving for two terms, he went on to become the first Mexican American ambassador in U.S. history, heading the U.S. delegation to Costa Rica. Historian Mario T. García brings Telles’s remarkable story to life in this newly updated edition of his pioneering biography, The Making of a Mexican American Mayor.

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.

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