Vigil, Ernesto. (1999) The Crusade for Justice: Chicano Militancy and the Government’s War on Dissent 

This book contains the most detailed history into the Crusade for Justice. The author, Vigil, was involved with Corky Gonzales and was present at most of the important events in the Crusade’s history. This book begins discussing the origins of the Crusade for Justice as a small community organization that functioned as a center for engagement as well as a dance hall. The book also gives an overview of the LA Blowouts and the West High protest among other early work of the Crusade. It then discusses at length the shooting and explosion of the Crusade offices, the death of Louis Martinez, the conspiracy against John Haro and Chicano involvement in the Wounded Knee protests with AIM.

This is a fantastic book and I highly recommend a copy to anyone interested in the subject. It is thoroughly and meticulously researched. While the book is a historical survey of the events it is also an important personal first hand account of events. Vigil as he lays out the events of the in the March 1971 shootout in Denver describes how he himself got shot by the police. (!!)

ISBN: 0299162249.  


Chávez, Ernesto. (2002) “¡Mi Raza Primero!” (My People First!): Nationalism, Identity, and Insurgency in the Chicano Movement in Los Angeles, 1966-1978 

This book describes the rise of the Chicano movement in Los Angeles. Starting with Viva Kennedy and it tracks the many attempts and failures of the Chicano movement to gain political power and influence in the States. Much attention is also focused on the formation of the Brown Berets, La Raza Unidad and CASA. 

ISBN-10 0520230183



Gonzales, Rudolfo “Corky”. (2001) Message to Aztlan Selected Writings Containing most of Corky’s writings including the poems I am Juaquín and the Spanish translation, Yo soy Juaquín, Message to Atzlan, two plays, as well as correspondences and other poems.

ISBN: 1558853316  



Garcia, Alma. (2014) Chicana Feminist Thought This is a great collection of Chicana writings throughout the movement offering a diversity of perspectives and insight into the power struggle between gender, national identity, skin color and person hood.

ISBN: 0415918014


Sanchez, George J. Becoming Mexican American: Ethnicity, Culture, and Identity in Chicano Los Angeles, 1900-1945. Oxford University Press, 1995

George Sanchez has written the most detailed and thorougly researched accounts of Mexican Americans in the early 20th century in Southern California. He draws on a myriad of resources to provide accuracy and context to the immigration movement as well as politial life in Los Angeles for those with Mexican heritage. It’s a big book and academic, but there are countless fascinating stories and I’d recommend it to anyone looking for background on the current Mexican American community.

ISBN: 0195096487


Anzaldúa, Gloria E. Borderlands/La Frontera: The New Mestiza Aunt Lute Books; 4th ed. Edition (June 12, 2012) 

Wow, this book is an amazing mix of cultural theory, personal narrative and history. It’s beautify written in Spanish, English, Poetry and Prose and describes the many complexities of life as a Chicana, a feminist and a lesbian. It’s critical in understanding the Chicano movement and the Mexican American community. It has also been the target of bans in Arizona and elsewhere.