Americo Paredes (1915-1999) was a folklorist, scholar, and professor at the University of Texas at Austin who is widely acknowledged as one of the founding scholars of Chicano Studies. Born in Brownsville, Texas, along the southern U.S.-Mexico Border, Paredes grew up between two worlds - one written about in books, the other sung about in ballads and narrated in folktales. After service in World War-II, Paredes entered the University of Texas at Austin, where he completed his PhD in 1956. With the publication of his dissertation, ""With His Pistol in His Hand: A Border Ballad and Its Hero"" in 1958, Paredes soon emerged as a challenger to the status quo. His book questioned the mythic nature of the Texas Rangers and provided an alternative counter-cultural narrative to the existing traditional narratives of Walter Prescott Webb and J. Frank Dobie. For the next forty years Paredes was a brilliant teacher and prolific writer who championed the preservation of border culture and history. He was a soft-spoken, at times temperamental, yet fearless professor. In 1970 he co-founded the Center for Mexican American Studies at the University of Texas at Austin and is credited with introducing the concept of Greater Mexico, decades before its wider acceptance today among transnationalist scholars. He received numerous awards, including La Orden del Aguila Azteca, Mexico's most prestigious service award to a foreigner. Manuel F. Medrano interviewed Paredes over a five-year period before Paredes' death in 1999, and also interviewed his family and colleagues. For many Mexican Americans, Paredes' historical legacy is that he raised, carried, and defended their cultural flag with a dignity that both friends and foes respected.
Publisher: University of North Texas Press,U.S.
Weight: 454 g
Dimensions: 229 x 152 x 20 mm
"With the cooperation of the Paredes family, Medrano has compiled a book that focuses on Paredes's accomplishments and presents him as a man of unimpeachable integrity. . . . [He] provides new details about Paredes's personal life, including intimate glimpses of his relationship with his wife, Amelia. In this regard, Medrano's work transcends the three previous biographies on Paredes, each of which have been extremely circumspect regarding don Americo's privacy."--Southwestern Historical Quarterly
This clear and straightforward introduction to one of folklore's most notable scholars of the twentieth century provides excellent insight into the man behind the work. . . . Much like the border folk heroes depicted in the corridos that Dr. Paredes loved so much, his own character is brought to life in Medrano's words and will undoubtedly live on in the minds of those who listen to Paredes' story attentively."--Journal of Folklore Research
"Paredes played an important part in legitimating the study of Mexican culture as it crossed the border into the United States and valorizing the work of Americans of Mexican descent. . . . [I]t will be read and enjoyed by Paredes' friends and family, grateful students, and other scholars of folklore and Mexican American Studies."--Journal of the American Studies Association of Texas