The late Manuel Gamio, dean of Mexican anthropologists, was trained at Columbia University and later organized Mexico’s Bureau of Anthropology. He directed the famous study of the Valley of Teotihuacán and published such influential works as Forjando patria (1916). In 1926 and 1927 he was asked by the Social Science Research Council to carry out a study of Mexican immigration to the United States, which resulted in the publication of the classic Mexican Immigration to the United States (1930). A selection of immigrants’ autobiographies, too lengthy for inclusion in this volume, were translated by Robert C. Jones and published as a separate work, The Mexican Immigrant: His Life Story (1931). The bulk of the present work is a translation of the latter back into Spanish. The remaining 80 pages consist of “Notas preliminares de Gilberto Loyo sobre la inmigración de mexicanos a los Estado Unidos de 1900 a 1967.” These consist in fact primarily of brief summaries of some of the Advance Reports of UCLA’s Mexican American Study Project, plus some random thoughts of Sr. Loyo on Mexican immigration to the United States. This section is of considerable value to the Mexican who does not read English or has no access to the original UCLA reports.

As far as the translation of Gamio’s book is concerned, two points warrant consideration, the content and the quality of the translation itself. With reference to the first point, it should be emphasized that the autobiographies, though interesting and enlightening, are neither highly analytical nor particularly critical, nor do they purport to be representative. Instead they constitute valuable raw historical data for understanding the impact of the United States upon the grandparents of today’s young adult Mexican Americans. The publication of the present work makes these data widely available for the Spanish-speaking reader.

With reference to the translation itself, it is most unfortunate that the original documents written in Spanish were not located and utilized in this volume. The present retranslation is inelegant, to say the least, and a poor substitute for Jones’ English translation, which appeared skillfully to reproduce the spirit of the original. This translation is excessively literal, reproduces English syntax too faithfully, coins Spanish words based on English words with Spanish endings, utilizes false cognates, and fails to translate idioms. Some examples of these tendencies are as follows: the use of Baptista instead of bautista with reference to the Baptist Church; batería instead of acumulador for automotive battery; and the following gem: “Alberto bebe mucho claro de luna....” It is somewhat disconcerting that the University of Mexico’s Institute of Social Research should sponsor such a translation. The serious student of the history of Mexican immigration will still have to rely upon the original English-language editions of Gamio’s works.