In this book, Martinez argues that the border region of Texas was founded violently by state policing with the use of strong beliefs of nation building and racial superiority. Violent intimidation, racial profiling, and murders were ways that the Texas Rangers, local law enforcement, Anglo citizens, and the State of Texas used to settle south and west Texas. Considering these facts, this book is a social history as it explores the social relations between Anglos, ethnic Mexicans, Mexican Americans, and African Americans. Martinez’s purpose is not only to provide a history of the anti-Mexican violence and the state’s role in it, but also to highlight the resistance that families took after violence struck their families in the form of vernacular histories and non-traditional historical publications like blogs, personal archives, oral histories, and personal research. Martinez acknowledges that without these non-traditional histories, her own book would not have been written.
Keywords: Texas, Violence, Mexican American, Mexican, Borderlands