This political history of Mexican Americans analyses and interprets the last fifty years in the movimiento. Written by a leading Chicano historian who spent many years as an activist, this study evolved from Juan Gomez-Quinones's participation and reflection. Examined are the leaders and organisations that waged struggles for political rights as well as the evolution of their goals and strategies. Beginning in the 1940s, Mexican Americans viewed the advocacy process in party politics coupled with the selected use of the courts as effective means to redress problems. But by the mid--1960s, the persistence of discrimination, inequality and poverty led many to question the so-called gains made through piecemeal reform. A new style of politics, based on wide mobilisation and an insistence upon democratic rights, coalesced into an ethnic populism known as the Chicano Movement.