This article surveys the writing of Chicano/a history since its inception and reflects on why scholars have been concerned with certain issues and how they have written about them. Born from the tumult of the Vietnam era, the field has challenged the status quo and emboldened those communities from which Chicano/a historians come and which they ultimately serve. Given the generation-long development of Mexican American history, this article focuses on Chicano/a historiography, with some commentary on the recent emergence of Latino/a history and the future directions that this field may take. It engages three questions that have driven the field: What forces engendered the ethnic Mexican community in the United States? Who comprises it? And how does the past bear on the present?

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