Crucible of Struggle

Crucible of Struggle : A History of Mexican Americans from the Colonial Period to the Present Era

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Ranging from the founding of New Mexico in 1598 to the 2008 Obama presidential campaign, Crucible of Struggle: A History of Mexican Americans from the Colonial Period to the Present Era vividly outlines and explores the totality of the 500-year Mexican American experience that is woven into the greater context of American history. It maps out current debates in Mexican American history while also incorporating new scholarship from the last thirty years. Taking a regional approach that carefully avoids sweeping generalizations about Mexican Americans' experiences-and including and acknowledging the presence and contributions of women-the book covers such diverse topics as gender, Mexican/Native American interactions, and Mexican migration. The book begins with a discussion of the formative stages of Mexican life and society in the Southwest, including Spanish colonialism and the themes of settlement, Indian and colonial intercultural trade, and Indian resistance; the rise of capitalist agriculture in the 1870s and 1880s; agrarian protest and populism; race relations; and the effect of late-nineteenth-century railroad building on the economics of northern Mexico and on the U.S. and Mexican migration. It goes on to cover a variety of topics, for example, the first wave of Mexican immigration to the U.S., from the 1910 Mexican Revolution to the early Great Depression, reflecting on the challenges that Mexicans faced in the initial years and their adaptation to their new homeland. The text also details such key topics as repatriation; the surge of union activism among mine, cannery, and agricultural workers in the 1930s; the appeal of communism and the struggle against fascism; the domestic and overseas warfront experiences of Mexican Americans during World War II; the postwar struggles for economic and social justice; 1960s and 1970s Chicano movement radicalism, including the self-emancipation of Mexican American women; the 1980s multicultural wars spawned by America's rightward turn, and the ongoing process of globalization and its increasing inequalities as embodied in the North American Free Trade Agreement. The final chapter is an epilogue that considers the post-9/11 anti-immigrant fervor and the implications of the dramatic growth of the Latino population in the early twenty-first century. Because of its scope of coverage, insight, and readability, Crucible of Struggle: A History of Mexican Americans from the Colonial Period to the Present Era is a very valuable asset in college and university undergraduate courses on the history of Mexican Americans.show more

Product details

  • Paperback | 432 pages
  • 154.94 x 231.14 x 17.78mm | 544.31g
  • Oxford University Press Inc
  • New York, United States
  • English
  • 0195158512
  • 9780195158519

Review quote

"An excellent survey of Mexican American history from colonial times to the present. . . Focused mainly on the structural forces that have shaped socio-economic conditions of Mexicans in the U. S., Crucible of Struggle is sure to quickly replace the canonic texts now available for teaching Mexican American history."--Ramon A. Gutierrez, University of Chicago "An impressive achievement--in one grand sweep, Vargas covers Mexican American history from Spanish settlement to the present day, taking the first 300 years as seriously as the last one hundred."--Sarah Deutsch, Duke University "Crucible of Struggle is an exciting new history of Mexican Americans from the Spanish colonial period to the Latino present. Based on the latest and best scholarly research, this prodigious work goes into greater depth than previous surveys on generally unknown subjects, such as Mexican American heroism in armed conflicts from the Civil War through World War II."--John Chavez, Southern Methodist University " "An excellent survey of Mexican American history from colonial times to the present. . . Focused mainly on the structural forces that have shaped socio-economic conditions of Mexicans in the U. S., Crucible of Struggle is sure to quickly replace the canonic texts now available for teaching Mexican American history."--Ramon A. Gutierrez, University of Chicago "An impressive achievement--in one grand sweep, Vargas covers Mexican American history from Spanish settlement to the present day, taking the first 300 years as seriously as the last one hundred."--Sarah Deutsch, Duke University "Crucible of Struggle is an exciting new history of Mexican Americans from the Spanish colonial period to the Latino present. Based on the latest and best scholarly research, this prodigious work goes into greater depth than previous surveys on generally unknown subjects, such as Mexican American heroism in armed conflicts from the Civil War through World War II."--John Chavez, Southern Methodist University " I teach a course in Chicano History every year, and have for twenty years now...A text or synthesis is utterly essential, now more than ever...I think that the prospectus is reflective and thoughtful about current research...the content and coverage are appropriate...Professor Vargas' writing is...more accessible than many others, less burdened with jargon or miscellaneous details...I would use this book and I would urge colleagues to do the same. I concur [with Vargas] that the leading extant Mexican American history textbooks are deficient in one or more serious ways. There is ample room for "another one volume overview of Mexican American history..".I am convinced that Vargas' writing is accessible to undergraduates; he most certainly writes clearly and interestingly...I would adopt the textbook that Vargas is prospoing. I know he is an excellent historian. Already a leading scholar of Chicano labor history, Vargas ranks among the most prominent practitioners ofeshow more

About Zaragosa Vargas

Zaragosa Vargas is William R. Kenan Distinguished Professor of Latino Studies at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill. He received his Ph.D. in American Culture from the University of Michigan and is the author of Proletarians of the North: A History of Mexicans in Industrial Detroit and the Midwest (1998) and Labor Rights Are Civil Rights: Mexican American Workers in Twentieth-Century America (2007). His articles and essays have appeared in several academic journals, including Labor History, American Quarterly, Science & Society, and Labor: Studies in Working-Class History of the Americas. He is currently writing a history of the early Mexican American civil rights movement.show more

Table of contents

TABLE OF CONTENTS ; PREFACE ; Introduction ; CHAPTER 1 ; The Era of the Spanish Northern Frontier to 1821 ; Spanish Institutions and Mixed-Race Society of the Northern Frontier ; The Founding of New Mexico ; Resisting Spanish Colonization: The Pueblo Revolt of 1680 ; Duty to the Crown and Church Fulfilled: The Spanish Reconquest of New Mexico ; A Buffer Zone Against Expansion: Spanish Colonial Texas ; The Apache and Comanche Threat in Texas ; The Condition of the Spanish Texas Colony in the Early Nineteenth Century ; Guarding the Western Periphery: Spanish Colonial Alta California ; Mexican Independence Comes to the Northern Frontier ; Conclusion ; CHAPTER 2 ; Life and Society in Mexico's Northern Borderlands, 1821-1846 ; Indian Relations on the Northern Frontier After Mexican Independence ; Men of the Plains: New Mexican Ciboleros and Comancheros ; The Opening of Commercial Markets: The Taos Trade Fair and the Santa Fe Trail ; Conflict in New Mexico-the 1837 Revolt ; Tejano Life on the Texas Frontier Under Mexico ; The Never Ending Indian Menace: Comanche Raids in Texas ; The Growing Conflict in Texas with Mexico ; The Drive for Texas Independence ; Making California Mexican ; The California Missions: Making Indians Faithful and Industrious Christians ; The Golden Age of California Ranching ; The Californio Era Revolts Against Mexican Rule ; Conclusion ; CHAPTER 3 ; Mexican Americans in the Era of War and American ; Westward Expansion ; The Southwest on the Eve of the Mexican War ; The Outbreak of War ; The American Occupation of New Mexico ; The 1847 Taos Revolt Against American Occupation of New Mexico ; The American Occupation of California ; The Battles at Monterrey and Buena Vista ; The Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo: The Enduring Paradox ; Conclusion ; CHAPTER 4 ; Mexican Americans from the 1850s to the End of the Civil War ; Mexican Americans in the Post-Conquest Southwest ; The Californio Banditti Joaquin Murieta and Tiburcio Vasquez ; Juan Cortina: Champion and Hated Villain of the Texas Border Region ; Mexican Americans in the American Civil War ; Mexican Americans Fight in the Indian Wars ; Conclusion ; CHAPTER 5 ; Mexican Americans in the Southwest, 1870 to the Early ; Twentieth Century ; The Mexican Americans of California ; The Tejanos and Mexicans of Texas ; Disenfranchising Tejanos Voters as Political Strategy ; The Mexicans of Arizona and New Mexico ; The United States and the New Mexico Land Grants Question ; Las Gorras Blancas and El Centillo de Diablo (the Devil's Hatband) ; Statehood for New Mexico and Arizona? ; The New Southwest Economy and the First Modern Phase of Mexican Immigration to ; the United States ; Conclusion ; CHAPTER 6 ; Mexican Immigration, Work, Urbanization, and Americanization, ; 1910-1929 ; Mexican Labor Strife and Struggle ; Tejano Freedom Fighters: The Plan de San Diego ; The Killing Fields of South Texas ; Immigration from Mexico During the 1910-1920 Years ; Mexicans, World War I, and the 1920-1921 Depression ; Mexican Immigration from 1920 to 1929 ; Mexican Los Angeles ; Mexicans in the Rocky Mountain and Plains States ; Mexicans in the Urban Industrial Heartland ; Mexicans and Social and Cultural Change and Americanization ; Mexican Mutualism and Fraternalism ; Conclusion ; CHAPTER 7 ; The Mexican American Struggle for Labor Rights in the Era of the ; Great Depression ; The Plight of Mexicans in the Early Years of the Great Depression ; The Repatriation Campaign Unfolds ; Mexicans in the Era of the National Recovery Act ; Mexican Women Workers Battle for Equality ; Mexican Coal Miner's Wage War in Gallup ; Tejano Struggles for Unionism in South Texas ; Emma Tenayuca Brings Social Justice to San Antonio's Mexicans ; The 1938 Strike by San Antonio's Pecan Shellers ; The UCAPAWA Organizes Colorado's Mexican Farm Workers ; Mexican American CIO Unionists Organize Los Angeles and Southern California ; Conclusion ; CHAPTER 8 ; The Mexican American People in the World War II Era ; Mexican Americans on the Eve of the Second World War ; Justice Delayed: The Sleepy Lagoon Incident ; Mexican Americans and the Sinarquista Menace ; America's War at Home: The Los Angeles Zoot Suit Riots ; Mexican American GIs on the Pacific and European War Fronts ; Mexican Americans Fight Against Discrimination: The Case of Los Angeles ; Mexican American Women War Workers ; Braceros: The Mexican Contract Labor Program Begins ; American Race Relations and Mexican Americans ; Conclusion ; CHAPTER 9 ; Mexican Americans in the Postwar Years, 1946-1963 ; Forgotten: The Status of Mexican Americans in Postwar America ; Mexican Americans in the Early Post-War American Labor Movement ; The Radicalism of ANMA ; Mexican Americans and the Community Service Organization ; Mexican Americans Caught in the Web of the Red Scare ; Mexican Americans in the Dragnets of Operation Wetback and Operation Terror ; Civil Rights Litigation by Mexican Americans ; Don't Bow to the Powers that Be: Shifts in the Mexican American Rights Movement ; Mexican Americans and the Democratic Party ; Conclusion ; CHAPTER 10 ; Mexican Americans in the Protest Era, 1964-1974 ; Viva La Huelga!-Gaining Ground for Farm Workers ; The People's Choice: Reis Lopez Tijerina and the New Mexico Land Grants Movement ; Cultural Nationalism and Community Control-The Crusade for Justice ; A Search for Identity: The Chicano Student Movement ; Righteous Discontent: The Chicana Women's Movement ; Raza Si! Guerra No!-The National Chicano War Moratorium ; ": Mexican Americans and the North American Free Trade ; Agreement ; Latino-A New National Identity and Continued Immigration ; Conclusion ; CHAPTER 12 ; Epilogue-Mexican Americans in the New Millenniumshow more

Rating details

24 ratings
3.95 out of 5 stars
5 29% (7)
4 42% (10)
3 25% (6)
2 4% (1)
1 0% (0)
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