Book Launch and Wine Reception
Tue, Feb 25, 4:30pm
Sala Literaria, Bellas Artes
Hernández Macías 75, Centro
Author Reading, 5pm
By Libbe Dennard
Photo: Author Brad Rockwell
“The Life and Times of Alberto G. García, Physician—Mexican Revolutionary—Texas Journalist—Yogi” brings to light the journey of a man born poor in Zacatecas, Mexico in 1889, and raised in Michigan, whose life crisscrossed borders and followed a surprising path.
Dr. Alberto García may not be a household name, but he is a Mexican-American whose life contains valuable history of the Americas. Brad Rockwell, a San Miguel de Allende resident, reads from his book on February 25. At the center of this new work is the incredible life of an activist doctor unlike any other.
To learn more about this incredible man, I raised questions with Rockwell.
Why write about Dr. Alberto Garcia?
I heard of Dr. García when I was researching a book—Texas Yogis. I realized then that he deserves a book of his own. He was uniquely accomplished not only in medicine, but also in his selfless humanitarian pursuits. We continue to grapple with many of García’s concerns like racism, imperialism, and socialism. He published a newspaper that spotlighted the struggles of Mexican immigrants. He spoke out against the Ku Klux Klan. As a physician, he provided free medical care to thousands of patients. His life as a yogi is worth examination. In my opinion, the true value or power of yoga is best revealed not through navel-gazing memoirs of ashrams, but through lives of yogis dealing with challenging real-world issues.
How did you learn so many details of García’s life?
He lived in Austin, Texas, the site of his activism from 1915 to 1962. Archives at the city’s History Center were invaluable. The doctor’s personal notes and library found their way to me, and I interviewed several remaining family members from Texas and Mexico. I also used astrology to understand him, which is appropriate considering Dr. García was an astrologer. Because of my own years of yoga study and practice, I felt an immediate connection to Alberto García.
Is this book of interest only to historians?
I don’t think so. This is a fast-paced and dramatic story about a remarkable man who changed many lives during the twentieth century. It is a piece of nonfiction magical realism dealing with some of the biggest ongoing issues we face today. I expect readers will be fascinated with the life of Dr. García.