Monday, January 11, 2021

“FBI Files on Mexicans and Chicanos, 1940–1980: The Eagle Is Watching” by José Angel Gutiérrez


A multi-chapter book that examines the FBI files on two well known persons of Mexican origin, Luisa Moreno and Ernesto Galarza; four Chicanos, Ambassador Raymond Telles and his wife Delfina Navarro, Francisco "Pancho" Medrano, Freddy Fender; two organizations, the Texas Farm Workers Union and the American G.I. Forum; and, one event, the Zoot Suit police riots in Los Angeles, California during the 1940s. José Angel Gutiérrez is emeritus professor of political science ate University of Texas in Arlington.

Praise for FBI Files on Mexicans and Chicanos, 1940–1980

"In this well-researched and detailed book, José Angel Gutiérrez, as a scholar and a fearless leader for decades on behalf of Chicanas and Chicanos in the U.S., does an excellent job in exposing the civil/human rights abuses of the American government in general and oppressive FBI apparatus in particular against los de abajo. As a self-described Chicano militant, the author exposes a contradiction of the FBI's racist surveillance against brown people, where the gaze of Big Brother doesn’t differentiate in spying on righteous militants, aspiring for radical/structural transformations, versus moderate Mexican Americans and groups, seeking reformist changes."
— Alvaro Huerta, California State Polytechnic University

"As technology intrudes into our virtual and ‘real’ lives more and more, it is imperative to think about to whom, and why, 'the eagle' may be listening. This work will make readers think more deeply about such matters. You may lose some sleep over this, but that might not necessarily be a bad thing."
— Jorge Iber, Texas Tech University

"Using the Freedom of Information Act to acquire and analyze files compiled by the FBI in its surveillance of several notable, as well as less well known Latino leaders, former Chicano Movement activist José Angel Gutiérrez describes how the federal government extensively documented the activities and movements of those deemed 'subversive' and 'un-American.' This volume is a useful addition to those studies that reveal how the FBI monitored and intimidated activists over many decades, including many Latinos branded as 'Communists' and 'lefties' for their efforts to advocate for labor and civil rights on behalf of their people."
— Albert M. Camarillo, Stanford University

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