Kaplowitz, Craig A. 1970–

views updated

Kaplowitz, Craig A. 1970–

(Craig Allan Kaplowitz)

PERSONAL:

Born 1970. Education: Wake Forest University, B.A., 1992; Vanderbilt University, M.A., 1995, Ph.D. 1999.

ADDRESSES:

Office—Department of History, LTOW, Judson University, 1151 N. State St., Elgin, IL 60123. E-mail—[email protected]

CAREER:

Vanderbilt University, Nashville, TN, lecturer, 1997-98; Middle Tennessee State University, Murfreesboro, assistant professor, 1999-2002; Judson University, Elgin, IL, assistant professor, 2002-03, associate professor, 2004—. Consultant for the Educational Testing Service, 2001—.

MEMBER:

Organization of American Historians, Conference on Faith and History.

AWARDS, HONORS:

Gerald R. Ford Foundation grant, 1996; Lyndon Baines Johnson Foundation Moody grant, 1996; John F. Kennedy Library Founda- tion grant, 1997; Swight Eisenhower/Clifford Roberts Fellowship, Eisenhower World Affairs Institute, 1997; Horace Samuel and Marion Galbraith Merrill grant, Organization of American Historians, 2000; Surbeck summer scholarship award, Judson University, 2006.

WRITINGS:

LULAC, Mexican Americans, and National Policy, Texas A&M University Press (College Station, TX), 2005.

Contributor to Civil Rights in the United States, edited by Waldo E. Martin, Jr., and Patricia Sullivan, Macmillan (New York, NY), 2001; and The Encyclopedia of Activism and Social Justice, edited by Gary L. Anderson, Sage (Thousand Oaks, CA), 2007. Contributor to academic journals, including the Journal of Policy History, La Raza Law Journal, Tennessee Historical Quarterly, and Presidential Studies Quarterly.

SIDELIGHTS:

Craig A. Kaplowitz's first book, LULAC, Mexican Americans, and National Policy, examines the policy history of Mexican-American civil rights through a study of the League of United Latin American Citizens (LULAC), formed in 1929 to ensure equality for legal Mexican-American citizens and to protect Hispanic populations from racism. The organization was founded in Texas, which had annexed a large slice of Mexico following the Mexican War of 1846-48, thus instantly creating thousands of Mexican-born American citizens. LULAC was headed by prosperous Mexican-American business and community leaders who advocated assimilation into American society through adoption of English and participation in the democratic process. They also acted as a watchdog group for civil rights protections and argued against segregation, claiming that Mexicans and Hispanics were white and thus eligible for the same schools and rights as their non-hyphenated neighbors.

In the 1930s, LULAC became active in President Franklin Roosevelt's New Deal coalition and its strength continued to increase following World War II. By the time of President Johnson's Great Society in the 1960s, the group had helped Mexican Americans find houses and jobs for a generation but held itself apart from African American civil rights groups, because LULAC members did not see themselves as a racial minority. Part of LULAC's influence in this era, Kaplowitz theorizes, came from government officials who preferred to deal with the conservative organizations rather than the more militant, grass roots-based organizations of the Chicano movement. Because of its low-key style, LULAC has not been examined sufficiently for its vital role in establishing civil rights for citizens of Mexican ancestry, Kaplowitz believes.

In reviewing the book for the Journal of Southern History, Benjamin Marquez noted that Kaplowitz "pays close attention to the way that LULAC activists demanded policies that moved beyond the black-white binary of race relations in order to address the unique problems faced by Mexican Americans." Writing in the International Social Science Review, David M. Carletta said that "Kaplowitz's well-crafted study connects the history of social movements and the history of policy development in the United States…. and aptly demonstrates the nation's changing attitudes about ethnicity and federal policy."

BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES:

PERIODICALS

International Social Science Review, fall-winter, 2005, David M. Carletta, review of LULAC, Mexican Americans, and National Policy, p. 174.

Journal of American Ethnic History, winter, 2005, Cynthia E. Orozco, review of LULAC, Mexican Americans, and National Policy, p. 324.

Journal of American History, March, 2006, Zaragosa Vargas, review of LULAC, Mexican Americans, and National Policy, p. 1526.

Journal of Southern History, August, 2006, Benjamin Marquez, review of LULAC, Mexican Americans, and National Policy, p. 714.

Southwestern Historical Quarterly, April, 2006, Gene B. Preuss, review of LULAC, Mexican Americans, and National Policy, p. 592.

Western Historical Quarterly, winter, 2006, Gabriela Gonzalez, review of LULAC, Mexican Americans, and National Policy, p. 523.