Desert Immigrants


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The Mexicans of El Paso, 1880-1920

Mario T. García

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García explores the relationship of class, race, and labor in El Paso, documenting  the evolution of work, housing, education, politics, and culture in the Mexican community. Desert Immigrants makes a significant contribution not only to Chicano and Mexican history, but to the history of immigration and labor and urban studies as well.

Mario T. Garcia is professor of history and Chicano studies at the University of California in Santa Barbara.

"Scholars as well as the general reader will find Desert Immigrants an engaging and informative book. It is based on a detailed reading of El Paso’s English and Spanish language newspapers as well as oral interviews and manuscript collections. A myriad of facts and names are meticulously organized to make a general argument. The book succeeds in linking the local history to larger themes in American history and as such stands as an example to be emulated by other historians of the Southwest."—Richard Griswold del Castillo, Journal of American History

"Carefully and thoroughly researched, the study examines Mexican immigration, housing, education, politics, economics, and culture and clearly demonstrates that Mexicans contributed significantly to the development of El Paso as an important railroad, mining, commercial and ranching center of the Southwest."—Library Journal

"Well organized, well documented, and well written."—Choice

"The book is a major contribution – the product of serious research, competently written, and almost entirely free of partisan emotion."—C.L. Sonnichsen, The Journal of Arizona History

"A gracefully written social and urban history."—Luis Leobardo Arroyo, La Red/The Net (National Chicano Newsletter)

"Desert Immigrants is history at its best. It describes and analyzes the contributions of Mexican men and women to El Paso's economic growth and integration into the national economy. . . . A thoroughly researched and well-written study of an all too often overlooked component of the West's 'instant cities.'"—Lawrence A. Cardoso, Western Historical Quarterly

"The best so far on Chicano history. It is highly recomended for all those interested in this subject or, more generally, in immigration or the history of the American Southwest."—Linda Hall, Southwest Reviewrecommended

"I enthusiastically recommend Desert Immigrants. It is a superb piece of scholarship—a major contribution not only to Chicano history, but also to immigration history, urban history, and U.S. history in general. And, particularly through its richness of anecdotal detail, it provides a revealing slice of Americana."—Carlos E. Cortés, Pacific Historical Review

"So well-researched, written and organized that it is likely to become a standard against which other local studies will be compared."—Pacific Historian

Winner of a 1981 Southwest Book Award given by the Border Regional Library Association

Winner of the 1981 Virginia McCormick Scully Literary Award
ISBN: 9780300028836
Publication Date: September 10, 1982
318 pages, 6 1/8 x 9 1/4
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