This book could not have been written without the help, encouragement, and love of many individuals and institutions. Arthur and Nellie Gutiérrez, my parents, made it all possible, lifting my spirits and sustaining my life. My special thanks to them, and also to my history godfather, Alan Gerlach, who as my first teacher of Latin American history was the person most responsible for leading me into the profession.
The embryo of this book grew out of a course of doctoral studies at the University of Wisconsin in Madison under the direction of Peter H. Smith, Thomas E. Skidmore, Thomas J. McCormick, and Steve J. Stern. Over the years these men have been inspiring mentors, demanding critics, loyal counselors, and treasured friends. I find it difficult to express adequately my gratitude to Peter H. Smith. Had he not encouraged me continually, when it all seemed impossible, had he not been convinced that Chicano history was a legitimate field of historical research, when many others had theidoubts, and had he not urged me to explore the history of kinship and sexuality to understand the dynamics of race and class, this book never would have been produced.
I owe a billion thanks to William B. Taylor for carefully reading and rereading my manuscript and every last footnote. With an immense knowledge of Latin American history and cultural anthropology, he offered me generous, gentle, and constructive criticisms. Along with his advice, bibliographic leads, and leading questions, he has honored me with his friendship, sustained me with his humaneness, and inspired me with his own scholarship.
Several friends and colleagues read various incarnations of this work, in part or whole, helped me polish its argument, and offered their unending encouragement. For all of this I thank Tomás Almaguer, George Reid