He graduated from the University of Texas at Austin, and from Yale University with a M.A. and Ph.D. in Sociology. He taught at the University of Texas at Austin, University of California, Santa Cruz, and the University of New Mexico. He was the former Chair of the Center for Latino Policy Research at University of California, Berkeley.
In 1995, he was inducted into the Texas Institute of Letters. From 1992-1998, he was State Commissioner of the Texas Commission on the Arts.
- 1987–1988 National Endowment for the Humanities Resident Scholar 
- 1988 Frederick Jackson Turner Award 
- Center for Advanced Study in the Behavioral Sciences Fellow at Stanford
- School of American Research Resident Scholar in Santa Fe
- Rockefeller Post-Doctoral Fellow
- John Tutino, ed. (2012). "Mexican Merchants and Teamsters on the Texas Cotton Road, 1862-1865." Mexico and Mexicans in the Making of the United States. University of Texas Press. ISBN 978-0-292-73718-1.
- Sancho's Journal: Exploring the Political Edge with the Brown Berets. University of Texas Press. 2012. ISBN 978-0-292-74384-7.
- Quixote's Soldiers: A Local History of the Chicano Movement, 1966-1981 (Jack and Doris Smothers Series in Texas History, Life, and Culture). University of Texas Press. 2010. ISBN 978-0-292-72290-3.
- Maggie Rivas-Rodriguez, ed. (2005). "The Beating of Private Aguirre". Mexican Americans & World War II. University of Texas Press. ISBN 978-0-292-70681-1.
- David Montejano, ed. (1999). Chicano Politics and Society in the Late Twentieth Century. University of Texas Press. ISBN 978-0-292-75215-3.
- Anglos y mexicanos en la formación de Texas: 1836-1986. Vol. 84. Consejo Nacional para la Cultura y las Artes, 1991.
- Anglos and Mexicans in the Making of Texas, 1836-1986. University of Texas Press. 1987. ISBN 978-0-292-77596-1.
- A journey through Mexican Texas, 1900-1930: the making of a segregated society. Yale University. 1982. External link in
- Race, labor repression, and capitalist agriculture: notes from South Texas, 1920-1930. University of California, Institute for the Study of Social Change. 1977.
- Sarah Lewis (1999-03-11). "UT prof. discusses wake of admissions decision". The Michigan Daily. Archived from the original on 1999-11-18.
- Ethnic Studies Department. "Professor of Ethnic Studies, University of California, Berkeley". Archived from Professor of Ethnic Studies at University of California Berkeley the original Check
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