How did a multigenerational population of ethnic Mexicans in Ventura County express a collective politics in the mid-twentieth century? This question lies at the heart of the new book by Frank P. Barajas (California State University, Channel Islands), a thorough local history of the Chicano movement that also makes significant interventions in the broader historical understanding of the era.

In Mexican Americans with Moxie: A Transgenerational History of El Movimiento Chicano in Ventura County, California, 1945–1975, Barajas outlines the postwar political efforts of Mexican Americans in the region, from movements “with increased fervor for an equal education” to those “in defense of a largely migrant-Mexicanist population of workers” (82, 139). The ethnic Mexican population at the center of the story was more variegated than homogeneous. While they built from a common ground, sharing a “farmworker provenance” and a sense of purpose and action, differences of generation, nativity, and even...

You do not currently have access to this content.