My History, Not Yours: The Formation of Mexican American Autobiography / Edition 1

Paperback (Print)
Buy New
Buy New from
Buy Used
Buy Used from
(Save 25%)
Item is in good condition but packaging may have signs of shelf wear/aging or torn packaging.
Condition: Used – Good details
Used and New from Other Sellers
Used and New from Other Sellers
from $2.99
Usually ships in 1-2 business days
(Save 88%)
Other sellers (Paperback)
  • All (16) from $2.99   
  • New (3) from $23.55   
  • Used (13) from $2.99   


    "I am willing to relate all I can remember, but I wish it clearly understood that it must be in my own way,  and at my own time.  I will not be hurried or dictated to.  It is my history and not yours I propose to tell.”—Mariano Guadelupe Vallejo, on “Recuerdos históricos y personales”  (1875)
    My History, Not Yours is a landmark study of the autobiographical writings of Mexican Americans in the century following the US-Mexican War of 1846-1848.  Some 75,000 inhabitants of what is now Texas, New Mexico, Arizona, Nevada, and California were suddenly foreigners on their own lands.  Faced with the deliberate obliteration of their history, culture, language, and personal experiences, these women and men set down the stories of their lives and their communities, as a means of both remembering and resisting.
    Genaro M. Padilla and other scholars have begun to uncover the huge store of literary materials forgotten in manuscript archives:  memoirs long out of print, others unpublished and unread, diaries, family histories, poetry, correspondence, and texts of corridos (ballads).  Padilla writes, “Lives are scattered on broken pages, faded, partially lost at the margins, suspended in language unread until there is a reader who opens the file and begins.  It is my intention to initiate a recovery of that autobiographical formation that emerged after a war of conquest.”
    In providing an overview of this rich literature, Padilla also points out the power relations embedded in the narratives, showing that the reconstruction of the Mexican past was not merely nostalgic idealization, but often an angry and deeply politicized recovery of a world ruptured by American domination.

Read More Show Less

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
 “This ambitious and accessible book is the best I have seen on Chicano literary culture.  Padilla has searched archival sources diligently and has brought to our attention major personal statements—itself no small feat—that treat the definitive events of early Mexican American experience.  He offers insights on how ethnic/cultural identity is formed; on how distinct literary traditions emerge and evolve; and on the politics of literary production and publication.  Because he engages these questions so skillfully this book will have implications—and readers—beyond the circle of literary scholarship.”—Raymund A. Paredes, University of California, Los Angeles

“This book is nothing less than the recovery of the nineteenth-century formations of Chicano autobiography. . . . My History, Not Yours exemplifies the best features of traditional historical research and contemporary critical methods.”—William L. Andrews, series editor, Wisconsin Studies in American Autobiography

Traces the development of autobiography among Mexican Americans as a personal and communicative response to the threat of cultural extinction after the US conquered the northern provinces of Mexico in 1848. Explores how the writers perceived their society and the place of individuals in it. The quotations include translations. Paper edition unseen, $17.95. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR
Read More Show Less

Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780299139742
  • Publisher: University of Wisconsin Press
  • Publication date: 1/28/1994
  • Series: Wisconsin Studies in Autobiography Series
  • Edition description: 1
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 224
  • Sales rank: 1,524,076
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 0.80 (d)

Meet the Author

Genaro M. Padilla is associate professor of English at the University of California at Berkeley.  He is the editor of The Short Stories of Fray Angelico Chavez and the coeditor, with Ramon Gutierrez, of Recovering the U.S. Hispanic Literary Heritage.

Read More Show Less

Table of Contents

1 Recovering Mexican American Autobiography 3
2 Autobiographical Prefigurations: The Encodations of Accommodation 42
3 "It is my history, not yours I propose to tell": History as Autobiography in Mariano G. Vallejo's "Recuerdos historicos y personales tocante a la alta California" 77
4 "Yo sola aprendi": Autobiographical Agency Against Testimonial Expectation in California Women's Personal Narrative 109
5 Leaving a "clean and honorable name": Rafael Chacon's "Memorias" 153
6 Lies, Secrets, and Silence: Cultural Autobiography as Resistance in Cleofas Jaramillo's Romance of a Little Village Girl 196
Conclusion: Other Voices and Other Subjects, Continuities of Autobiographical Desire 229
Notes 245
Works Cited 265
Index 273
Read More Show Less

Customer Reviews

Be the first to write a review
( 0 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star


4 Star


3 Star


2 Star


1 Star


Your Rating:

Your Name: Create a Pen Name or

Barnes & Review Rules

Our reader reviews allow you to share your comments on titles you liked, or didn't, with others. By submitting an online review, you are representing to Barnes & that all information contained in your review is original and accurate in all respects, and that the submission of such content by you and the posting of such content by Barnes & does not and will not violate the rights of any third party. Please follow the rules below to help ensure that your review can be posted.

Reviews by Our Customers Under the Age of 13

We highly value and respect everyone's opinion concerning the titles we offer. However, we cannot allow persons under the age of 13 to have accounts at or to post customer reviews. Please see our Terms of Use for more details.

What to exclude from your review:

Please do not write about reviews, commentary, or information posted on the product page. If you see any errors in the information on the product page, please send us an email.

Reviews should not contain any of the following:

  • - HTML tags, profanity, obscenities, vulgarities, or comments that defame anyone
  • - Time-sensitive information such as tour dates, signings, lectures, etc.
  • - Single-word reviews. Other people will read your review to discover why you liked or didn't like the title. Be descriptive.
  • - Comments focusing on the author or that may ruin the ending for others
  • - Phone numbers, addresses, URLs
  • - Pricing and availability information or alternative ordering information
  • - Advertisements or commercial solicitation


  • - By submitting a review, you grant to Barnes & and its sublicensees the royalty-free, perpetual, irrevocable right and license to use the review in accordance with the Barnes & Terms of Use.
  • - Barnes & reserves the right not to post any review -- particularly those that do not follow the terms and conditions of these Rules. Barnes & also reserves the right to remove any review at any time without notice.
  • - See Terms of Use for other conditions and disclaimers.
Search for Products You'd Like to Recommend

Recommend other products that relate to your review. Just search for them below and share!

Create a Pen Name

Your Pen Name is your unique identity on It will appear on the reviews you write and other website activities. Your Pen Name cannot be edited, changed or deleted once submitted.

Your Pen Name can be any combination of alphanumeric characters (plus - and _), and must be at least two characters long.

Continue Anonymously

    If you find inappropriate content, please report it to Barnes & Noble
    Why is this product inappropriate?
    Comments (optional)