In lieu of an abstract, here is a brief excerpt of the content:

2Oi o Book Reviews551 the stereotype being pushed in die press of the patriotic wife and mother. Women who donned the zoot suit projected a working-class masculine identity that fed fears regarding the impact of women's wartime productive role on the postwar gender order. Moreover, heavy makeup and the short skirts of those who did not cross-dress signaled a dangerous and subversive sexuality at a time when "bad girls" were deemed a threat to servicemen's health and the war effort. As Ramirez shifts her focus to the 1960s, the connections between the invisibility of la pachuca during World War II and her invisibility in Chicano movement culture become clear.Just as U.S. nationalism during the war was highly gendered and rooted in the hetero-patriarchal family, so was Chicano cultural nationalism (the concept ofMexican Americans as a separate culture and nation) in the 1 960s. The ideal of lafamilia de la raza, of Chicano community as family, rendered invisible Chicanas who were not exclusively wives or mothers. La pachuca, an assertive woman in control of her sexuality who encroached on public space, threatened the traditional gender roles underlying lafamilia de la raza, and so she was either omitted from Chicano treatments of the era or sexualized and equated with a puta (whore). Hints of this fate can be seen as early as 1942, when a Mexican-American newspaper's account of the Sleepy Lagoon incident labeled the pachucas as malinches, a term referring to a Christian Indian woman who supposedly betrayed her people by becoming Hernán Cortés's translator and concubine. Readers looking for a documentary narrative of female gangs will be disappointed and historians may wish for more grounding in primary sources at times, but Ramirez succeeds at the task she has set for herself—to restore agency to pachucas, to expose the process by which they have been rendered invisible, and to explain their significance for constructions of citizenship and nationalism . Through a sophisticated melding of feminist and queer theory that is both accessible and illuminating, she has laid important foundations for further fruitful inquiry. Texas State University—San ManosRebecca Montgomery North for the Harvest: Mexican Workers, Growers, and the Sugar Beet Industry. By Jim Norris. (St. Paul: Minnesota Historical Society Press, 2009. Pp. 236. Illustrations , notes, bibliography, index. ISBN 9780873516310, $22.95 Paper.) For much of the twentieth century, agricultural labor conditions in Texas substantially affected the Latinos in the state. Crop cultivation provided a living for the overwhelming majority of rural Latinos, particularly in South Texas, where there has been the largest concentration of Mexicans and Mexican Americans. These workers lacked equitable labor protections and were subject to exploitation by growers. Scholars of Mexican-American history widely agree that the resultant local conditions and interstate migratory labor systems unjustifiablyinfringed upon the civil and human rights of both United States and Mexican citizens. Although we know much about the factors pushing "Mexican" agricultural workers out of the state, there has been relatively litde written on the structure and functioning of agricultural systems that pulled workers from Texas. This monograph offers a 552Southwestern Historical QuarterlyApril well-written history of one such system in the Red River Valley, which runs along the North Dakota-Minnesota border. This "Red River Valley of the North" (8) contains ideal land for cultivating sugar beets, diough the climate only allows for one planting of the crop per year. American Beet Sugar (and its later incarnation, American Crystal) was the company that dominated beet processing in the valley. Following World War I, American Beet Sugar began to heavily recruit Mexican and Mexican-American workers in Texas to become betabeleros (sugar beet workers) . For the next five decades, until social and technological conditions rendered the system unprofitable, many Texas agricultural workers left home in late spring to spend three months in the beet fields of the Red River Valley. Norris elucidates a triad of actors with significant leverage over each odier. Perceived labor shortages in Texas spurred government guest worker programs, most notably the Bracero Program that ran from 1942-1964. While the Lone Star State became saturated widi low-wage agricultural workers, the sugar beet farms in...

pdf

Additional Information

ISSN
1558-9560
Print ISSN
0038-478X
Pages
pp. 551-552
Launched on MUSE
2011-07-06
Open Access
No
Back To Top

This website uses cookies to ensure you get the best experience on our website. Without cookies your experience may not be seamless.