|Author||Felix D. Almaráz Jr.|
Knight without Armor: Carlos E. Castañeda is the definitive biography of one of the most honored yet unknown historians of the twentieth century. No other historian of Hispanic descent has matched Castañeda's success, with twelve books and nearly eighty articles published in three decades. He was also one of the most distinguished, having earned prestigious accolades such knighthood in the Vatican's Equestrian Order of the Holy Sepulchre of Jerusalem and in Spain's Order of Isabel la Católica as praise for his contributions to the study of Catholicism and the history of the Spanish borderlands in North America.
Castañeda personified the ideal of knighthood as he overcame the limitations of financial burdens and ethnic discrimination. Rising out of humble origins in south Texas, he fought to improve school conditions in the barrios of San Antonio, and later served on Franklin D. Roosevelt's Committee on Fair Employment Practices during World War II. In 1939, he realized his dream of becoming a professor and historian. While teaching at the University of Texas, Castañeda specialized in Latin American history and focused on the history of Catholicism as the subject closest to his heart. His eight-volume work Our Catholic Heritage in Texas, 1519–1950 has been called the best work ever written on the Spanish colonial era in Texas.
Until his death in 1958, Carlos Castañeda worked to educate others on the history of Hispanic Americans and their culture, and courageously sought equality for his people. Author Félix D. Almaráz, Jr. has compiled numerous writings, interviews and photographs from private collections as well as state and national archives in order to present a worthy tribute of a historian whose praise is long overdue.