In Revolution in Texas Benjamin Johnson tells the little-known story of one of the most intense and protracted episodes of racial violence in United States history. In 1915, against the backdrop of the Mexican Revolution, the uprising that would become known as the Plan de San Diego began with a series of raids by ethnic Mexicans on ranches and railroads. Local violence quickly erupted into a regional rebellion. In response, vigilante groups and the Texas Rangers staged an even bloodier counterinsurgency, culminating in forcible relocations and mass executions.
Faced with the overwhelming forces arrayed against it, the uprising eventually collapsed. But, as Johnson demonstrates, the rebellion resonated for decades in American history. Convinced of the futility of using force to protect themselves against racial discrimination and economic oppression, many Mexican Americans elected to seek protection as American citizens with equal access to rights and protections under the U.S. Constitution.