The Journal of San Diego History
Summer 1972, Volume 18, Number 3
James E Moss, Editor

Book Notes

David J. Weber, Book Review Editor

Tree Of Hate: Propaganda and Prejudices Affecting United States Relations With The Hispanic World. By Philip Wayne Powell. New York: Basic Books, Publishers, 1971. Bibliography. Illustrations. Index. Notes. 210 pages. $8.95.

This study of the Black Legend (the idea that Spaniards are “uniquely cruel, bigoted, tyrannical, obscurantist, lazy, fanatical, greedy, and treacherous” p. 11), may seem a curious one to notice in a journal devoted to San Diego’s past. Yet, as Powell and others have noted, Anglo Saxons’ prejudices toward Spaniards were transferred to Mexicans in the nineteenth century. Hispanophobia, then, is one source of the Yankee antipathy toward Mexicans, so evident in 19th century San Diego and California. Some readers will find especially illuminating Powell’s discussion of how the Black Legend has endured to the present day in the United States through textbooks and popular literature. Thus, this study not only illuminates the Black Legend, but also adds dimension to our understanding of relations between Anglo Americans and Mexican Americans in today’s San Diego and the Southwest.