Martha E. Bernal and Phylis C. Martinelli. Mexican American Identity. ISBN: 0915745259. $22.95.

Mexican American Identity is the most outstanding collection of original research and analytical discussion so far published that focuses on Mexican American ethnic identity, an important dimension of ethnicity. This title is critical for educators and policy makers who set policy or make decisions affecting the Latino/Hispanic community for it provides an empirical and cognitive basis for understanding the idiosyncratic characteristics of this group as a unique culture and vis-à-vis the larger social context. Qui ego sum? 'Who am I? and Qui tu es? Who are you? are basic human inquiries. This book discusses and sheds light on the underlying dynamics determining and shaping identity and self-image of the Mexican American as an individual and a social group.

This anthology is comprised of ten essays, whose topics range from historical analysis of Mexican American identity; society's views of Mexican Americans and how these images and perceptions influence ethnic identity; the identity of Mexican American women, young children, adolescents. It also includes discussions of the political and policy impacts of Mexican American identity in cross-cultural and Anglo American, and dominant group settings. This collection of essays places Mexican American ethnic identity in a broad context beyond the borders of the United States an into an earlier time frame. Ethnic identity is explored as both a resource for the individual and the group. Other aspects discussed are ethnicity and ethnic identity in Mexico and Mexican America; Mexican immigrant nationalism as an origin of identity for Mexican Americans; in-group perspectives to the broader implications of ethnicity and how the larger society affects Mexican Americans and specifies the links between ethnic identity and public policy; ethnic dimensions of gender and the dilemmas of high achieving Mexican American women. Most highly recommended. Lector