John Chávez, the SMU History Department and the Central University Libraries are especially gratified to announce that Professor Chávez’ book, Eastside Landmark: A History of the East Los Angeles Community Union, 1968-1993, is now available entirely open access in SMU Scholar. This is now the second selection in SMU Scholar’s eBooks section, including Ellen Buie Niewyk’s Jerry Bywaters: Lone Star Print Maker.

The effort taken to bring Professor Chávez’ book to a wider audience, and to grant it open access, is a long and winding story that includes multiple librarians, multiple publisher responses and many emails. In the end, though, we successfully negotiated a contract with Stanford University Press to publish the Professor’s book.

An excerpt from Professor Chávez’s comments on the book echo the New cities/Future Ruins initiative launched at SMU in 2016.

In this new open-access format the book should reach a new audience interested in a precursor to the new urbanism. Despite its subtitle, A History of the East Los Angeles Community Union, the book should be read as the history of an innovative business, rather than a labor union. As a community development corporation, this institution combined the insights of liberals and conservatives to help revive Mexican-American and other working-class neighborhoods through the dynamic efforts of both trade unionists and business people. The work thus carries a pragmatic message for cooperative progress in twenty-first-century America.


Blog post courtesy of the late Dillon Wackerman, former Digital Scholarship Librarian, SMU and Professor John Chávez, Clements Department of History, SMU.