Examining the Mexican American civil rights movement through the public rhetoric of a veteran activist
Héctor P. García: Everyday Rhetoric and Mexican American Civil Rights examines the transition of Mexican Americans from political and social marginalization to civic inclusion after World War II. Focusing on the public rhetoric of veteran rights activist and physician Dr. Héctor P. García, a Mexican immigrant who achieved unprecedented influence within the U.S. political system, author Michelle Hall Kells provides an important case study in the exercise of influence, the formation of civic identity, and the acquisition of social power among this underrepresented group.
As a major influence in national twentieth-century civil rights reform, García effectively operated between Anglo and Mexican American sociopolitical structures. The volume illustrates how García, a decorated World War II veteran and founder of the American GI Forum in Texas in 1948, successfully engendered a discourse that crossed geographical, political, and cultural borders, forming associations with the working poor as well as with prominent national figures such as John F. Kennedy and Lyndon B. Johnson. Through his rhetoric and action, García publicly revealed the plight of Mexican Americans, crossing class, regional, and racial lines to improve socioeconomic conditions for his people.
Héctor P. García, which is enhanced by sixteen illustrations, contributes to rhetorical, cultural, and historical studies and offers new scholarship establishing García’s role on the national front, effectively tracing Garcia’s legacy of resistance, the process of achieving enfranchisement, and the role of racism in the evolution from social marginalization to national influence.
Higher Education and Democracy is a collection of essays written over the last ten years on how civic engagement in higher education works to achieve what authors John Saltmarsh and Edward Zlotkowsi consider to be the academic and civic purposes of higher education. These include creating new modes of teaching and learning, fostering participation in American democracy, the development and respect for community and civic institutions, and encouraging the constant renewal all of these dimensions of American life.
Organized chronologically, the twenty-two essays in this volume provide "signposts" along the road in the journey of fulfilling the civic purposes of higher education. For the authors, service-learning is positioned as centrally important to the primary academic systems and structures of higher education, departments, disciplines, curriculum, and programs that are central to the faculty domain. Progressing from the general and the contextual to specific practices embodied in ever larger academic units, the authors conclude with observations on the future of the civic engagement movement.