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Gente Decente A Borderlands Response to the Rhetoric of Dominance by Leticia M. Garza-Falcon

Gente Decente A Borderlands Response to the Rhetoric of Dominance


Gente Decente A Borderlands Response to the Rhetoric of Dominance by Leticia M. Garza-Falcon

In his books The Great Plains, The Great Frontier, and The Texas Rangers, historian Walter Prescott Webb created an enduring image of fearless, white, Anglo male settlers and lawmen bringing civilization to an American Southwest plagued with savage Indians and Mexicans. So popular was Webb's vision that it influenced generations of historians and artists in all media and effectively silenced the counter-narratives that Mexican American writers and historians were concurrently producing to claim their standing as gente decente, people of worth. These counter-narratives form the subject of Leticia M. Garza-Falcon's study. She explores how prominent writers of Mexican descent-such as Jovita Gonzalez, Americo Paredes, Maria Cristina Mena, Fermina Guerra, Beatriz de la Garza, and Helena Maria Viramontes -have used literature to respond to the dominative history of the United States, which offered retrospective justification for expansionist policies in the Southwest and South Texas. Garza-Falcon shows how these counter-narratives capture a body of knowledge and experience excluded from official histories, whose facts often emerged more from literary techniques than from objective analysis of historical data.

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Book Info

Publication date

1st January 1998


Leticia M. Garza-Falcon

More books by Leticia M. Garza-Falcon
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University of Texas Press


327 pages


Literary studies: general
Physical anthropology



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