Raymond G. Starr, Book Review Editor
The Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo, 1848: Papers of the Sesquicentennial Symposium, 1848-1998.
Edited by John Porter Bloom. Las Cruces, NM: Do-a Ana County Historical Society and Yucca Tree Press, 1999. Photographs, maps, appendix, notes. CSX + 100 pages. $11.95 Paperback.
The chapters in this book grew out of the Dona Ana County Historical Society (of Las Cruces, New Mexico) sesquicentennial commemoration of the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo, which ended the war between the United States and Mexico in 1848. It was an ambitious project for a relatively small historical society, but a successful one. The book consists of articles by recognized scholars in the field (including San Diego State University’s Professor of Chicano and Chicana Studies, Richard Griswold del Castillo) who explore issues of boundaries, land titles, and the impact of the treaty on the people affected (especially women and children), and on the subsequent history of Mexico. Since there are authors from both sides of the border, the book looks at the impact of the treaty from a variety of perspectives. That is important, because the aftermath of the treaty is still powerful, especially among Mexicans and Mexican-Americans who see it as a major symbol of their mistreatment by the United States. Although the book focuses on topics and issues specifically related to New Mexico, the knowledge contained in it can strengthen anyone’s knowledge of the document and its heritage, to the benefit of everyone on both sides of the current border.