From the 1930s to the 1950s, Zapata County was one of six South Texas counties where the Tejano majority dominated local politics. On January 1, 1937, Manuel B. Bravo was sworn in as county judge, and for twenty years he ruled as one of the "Mexican bosses" of South Texas.
In this volume, J. Gilberto Quezada examines Bravo's political career, including his association with many Texas and national politicians, including James Allred, Lloyd Bentsen, Kika de la Garza, Ralph Yarborough, and, most prominently, Lyndon Johnson. Quezada draws a more nuanced picture of bossism than has been presented previously, analyzing the role of influential leading families but looking as well at the degree of economic integration into the state and nation as factors in how bossism developed.
Those interested in Mexican American studies, politics, and bossism will appreciate this window into South Texas politics and Tejano culture.
J. GILBERTO QUEZADA, Associate Superintendent for Special Programs, Finance, and Pupil Services for the South San Antonio Independent School District, is an active member of the Texas State Historical Association and several other historical societies. He received his master's degree in history from St. Mary's University.
"Quezada's biography of Bravo brings context and identifiable people into relief, disposing of the un-nuanced stereotypes of Hispanic leaders of the age without undermining the drama that makes the history of Texas politics so compelling."--Josh Busby, Georgetown University