The Illusion of Inclusion: The Untold Political Story of San Antonio

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To many observers, the 1981 election of Henry Cisneros as mayor of San Antonio, Texas, represented the culminating victory in the Chicano community's decades-long struggle for inclusion in the city's political life. Yet, nearly twenty years later, inclusion is still largely an illusion for many working-class and poor Chicanas and Chicanos, since business interests continue to set the city's political and economic priorities. In this book, Rodolfo Rosales offers the first in-depth history of the Chicano community's struggle for inclusion in the political life of San Antonio during the years 1951 to 1991, drawn from interviews with key participants as well as archival research. He focuses on the political and organizational activities of the Chicano middle class in the context of post-World War II municipal reform and how it led ultimately to independent political representation for the Chicano community. Of special interest is his extended discussion of the role of Chicana middle-class women as they gained greater political visibility in the 1980s.