Cover

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Series Page, Title Page, Copyright, Dedication

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Contents

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pp. ix-xii

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Acknowledgments

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pp. xiii-xiv

I have benefited enormously from great teachers and colleagues, whom I count as my dear friends, in the years I spent writing this book. This study began at the University of Michigan in a graduate seminar on the New York intellectuals offered by Alan M. Wald. ...

Abbreviations

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pp. xv-xvi

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Introduction

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pp. 1-15

On Memorial Day 1937, thousands of steel workers and their families approached the gates of the Republic Steel mill in South Chicago. Thirty-one-year-old Guadalupe (Lupe) Marshall participated in the strikers’ demonstration. Marshall came with her family to Chicago from Mexico in 1917. ...

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Chapter One: We Are the Salt of the Earth: Conditions among Mexican Workers in the Early Great Depression Years

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pp. 16-61

About 1,422,533 Mexicans lived in the United States in 1930, a figure representing a 75 percent growth in the Spanish-speaking population since the last census counts in 1920. Three-fourths of the population was concentrated in the southwestern states of Texas, Colorado, New Mexico, Arizona, and California. ...

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Chapter Two: Gaining Strength through the Union: Mexican Labor Upheavals in the Era of the NRA

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pp. 62-113

In the early years of the Great Depression, the hostile attitudes toward Mexicans only became worse. Mexicans became the scapegoats for the nation’s growing joblessness. The degradation of the Mexican people resulted from the rapid increase in unemployment, the denial of relief assistance, and acute discrimination. ...

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Chapter Three: “Do You See the Light?”: Mexican American Workers and CIO Organizing

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pp. 114-157

The 1930s witnessed a tremendous upsurge in labor organizing as a movement swept the United States to establish industrial unions that would organize all workers: the Congress of Industrial Organizations. The CIO would have a long-lasting effect on the political, economic, and social life of Mexican Americans, who made up the Southwest’s main labor force in the harvesting, ...

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Chapter Four: Advocates of Racial Democracy: Mexican American Workers Fight for Labor and Civil Rights in the Early World War II Years

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pp. 158-202

The color line that separated racial minorities politically, socially, and economically from the rest of Americans was breached in the summer of 1941 by A. Philip Randolph and other black labor and civil rights leaders in their planned mass march on Washington, D.C., to protest discrimination in the defense industry and in the armed services. ...

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Chapter Five The Lie of “America’s Greatest Generation”: Mexican Americans Fight against Prejudice, Intolerance, and Hatred during World War II

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pp. 203-251

With the start of World War II the federal government committed the nation to total victory. The numerous social and economic problems faced by the Spanish-speaking hampered their participation in the war effort because their overall economic and social status had not measurably improved since the Great Depression. ...

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Chapter Six Labor Rights Are Civil Rights: The Emergence of the Mexican American Civil Rights Struggle

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pp. 252-280

World War II had finally ended. For several days Mexican Americans in the Southwest and Midwest streamed into local churches to rejoice and give thanks for the safe return of their kin. Many of the parishioners, however, did their praying in segregated sections of the Catholic churches. ...

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Conclusion

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pp. 281-290

The years of the Great Depression represent one of the most important periods of social and economic change for the Spanish-speaking people of the Southwest, the largest concentration of Mexicans in the United States. On the eve of the Great Depression, Mexicans constituted the fundamental bulk of the low-wage workforce necessary to the economic growth of the Southwest region. ...

Notes

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pp. 291-360

Index

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pp. 361-375