They Called Them Greasers:
Anglo Attitudes toward Mexicans in Texas, 1821 – 1900
Arnoldo De Leon
They Called Them Greasers: Anglo Attitudes toward Mexicans in Texas, 1821 – 1900, by Arnoldo De Leon, is a must read book that analyzes the racial attitudes by white Americans towards people of Mexican descent in Texas from 1821-1900. De Leon seeks to identify how those attitudes were expressed and their root cause. Prepare to be abruptly shaken as De Leon reveals various disturbing primary sources that reveal ethnocentric and racist feelings towards Mexicans in Texas by white Americans. Although They Called Them Greasers focuses on the time periods between 1821-1900, De Leon goes as far back as the American colonial period to support his theory for the origin of this ill sentiment towards Mexicans. De Leon also reveals the origin of the term Greaser that was commonly used as a derogatory remark towards people of Mexican descent.
With twenty six pages of notes at the end of his book and a fourteen page bibliography, They Called Them Greasers is a work of art that challenges the “serious flaws” and “deficiencies of research” from traditional historical published works that focus on the relationship between Anglos and Mexicans in Texas. Prepare to read incendiary remarks by historical figures such as Sam Houston and Stephen F. Austin, among various others, as They Called Them Greasers gives jaw dropping accounts and analyzes the racial attitudes from Anglos towards Mexicans in Texas during the nineteenth century.
Arnoldo De Leon (Robstown, Texas) is the C.J. “Red” Davidson Professor of History at Angelo State University. In 2013 he was honored by the National Association of Chicana/Chicano Studies (NACCS) Texas foco with the “Premio Estrella de Aztlán Life Time Achievement Award” for his contributions to Tejano History.