At the center of Elaine A. Peña's book ¡Viva George! Celebrating Washington's Birthday at the US-Mexico Border are the George Washington's Birthday Celebration Association (WBCA) staged events and festivities that since 1898 have united the border sister cities of los dos Laredos: Laredo, Texas, and Nuevo Laredo, Tamaulipas. Hers is the first scholarly attempt at a concentrated analysis of this celebration, its pageantry, and the meaning for the communities and the individuals involved.

Divided into two main parts, the book's five chapters explore the historical, sociopolitical, and cultural content performativity of the celebration. In the first part, titled “Playing for Power,” Peña, with an insider's perception and a curiosity born early on as a Laredoan who participated in the festivities, explores the displays of Indianness and coloniality played out during the festivities. Further, she unpacks the concepts of “playing” for “playing Indian,” “playing colonial,” and “playing Mexican” while investigating...

You do not currently have access to this content.