Inventing the Fiesta City (Nonfiction)

Laura Hernandez-Ehrisman, University of New Mexico Press, $29.95, Hardcover.
Laura Hernandez-Ehrisman, University of New Mexico Press, $29.95, Hardcover.

What is the corazón (heart) of San Antonio as reflected in the April citywide festival called Fiesta? Like so much of Southwestern culture, the Fiesta celebrates the diverse world called Texas Modern. This book is an interwoven history of parades and politics from 1891 to the present, told by a woman whose first memory is of walking the city. Originally, San Antonio was revered as the location of the Alamo. In the 20th century, the rowdy carnival week, La Semana Alegre, heightened awareness of social upheavals from Black Power of the 1960s to the Chicano Movimiento of the 1980s to gang warfare of the 1990s. While individual sectors of San Antonio society each want to claim the Fiesta as their own, the event mirrors the “dizzying multi-vocality” of a vibrant American city.

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