Book Reviews rights at home" (10). Throughout the diary, he places great emphasis on Mexican American contributions to the war effort, while distancing himself from Mexican Americans who resisted the draft and in some cases returned to Mexico. Understanding this interplay is central to understanding Saenz's diary. As he wrote: "All the rattle and the tremendous technological might of this devastating war that visits suffering on most of the world cannot mean much without the social, intellectual, economic, moral, and political advancement of our people in Texas" (68). While the underlying theme is that effort to translate participation in war into social victories back home, Saenz's diary also is an irreplaceable record of the daily life of United States soldiers during the Great War. From his enlistment in New Braunfels to occupation duty in Germany, he observed the details of daily life in the Army, whether it was being given his first rifle or the seriousness of receiving his uniform: "We were told of the exalted meaning of the uniform we were to wear and of the honor our country was bestowing upon us at a time it was facing the threat of a terrible and powerful enemy"
Southwestern Historical Quarterly – Texas State Historical Association
Published: Feb 13, 2015
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