Braceros: Migrant Citizens and Transnational Subjects in the Postwar United States and Mexico

Overview

At the beginning of World War II, the United States and Mexico launched the bracero program, a series of labor agreements that brought Mexican men to work temporarily in U.S. agricultural fields. In Braceros, historian Deborah Cohen asks why these migrants provoked so much concern and anxiety in the United States and what the Mexican government expected to gain in participating in the program. Cohen creatively links the often unconnected themes of exploitation, development, the rise of consumer cultures, and ...

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Braceros: Migrant Citizens and Transnational Subjects in the Postwar United States and Mexico

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Overview

At the beginning of World War II, the United States and Mexico launched the bracero program, a series of labor agreements that brought Mexican men to work temporarily in U.S. agricultural fields. In Braceros, historian Deborah Cohen asks why these migrants provoked so much concern and anxiety in the United States and what the Mexican government expected to gain in participating in the program. Cohen creatively links the often unconnected themes of exploitation, development, the rise of consumer cultures, and gendered class and race formation to show why those with connections beyond the nation have historically provoked suspicion, anxiety, and retaliatory political policies.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"Cohen mobilizes cultural insight, sociological precision, and historical understanding to create a definitive account of this extraordinarily important moment in the long, complicated, and rich U.S.-Mexican experience."—The Journal of the North Carolina Association of Historians

"[Cohen's] analysis offers the most complicated view yet of those workers in the World War II and Korean War eras, part of a growing movement to capture these men's stories, which are increasingly becoming unavailable."—Hispanic American Historical Review

"Braceros is a very rich, full text, and the author has certainly done her best to not leave out anything important."—H-Diplo Roundtable Review

"An important work that fits well into any classroom due to an engaging writing style and the ever-present issues that Cohen tackles."—Diplomatic History

"The most important book in a generation to appraise these critical and formative years of Mexico-U.S. migration."—Arkansas Historical Society

"Cohen's ability to illustrate the complexity of the transnational space that came to comprise the bracero program renders her work a must read for scholars interested in the history of transnational im/migration. . . . An excellent example of transnational historiography."—H-Borderlands

"Cohen's careful consideration of bracero subjectivities will enrich our understanding of the expansiveness of the mid-twentieth century Mexican immigrant experience."—New Mexico Historical Review

"Cohen brings [braceros's] actions to the forefront by allowing them to tell their stories in their own words, capturing the workers' struggles and souls as they navigated the demands of the program. . . . The book encourages readers to consider migrants' views of how their actions shaped immigration policies at the national and transnational level."—Western Historical Quarterly

"These narratives are interesting and important to understand. . . . [Cohen] has found such a rich group of ethnographic to help her tell them."— Journal of Historical Geography

"A wonderful read, one that might be assigned to graduate students or undergraduates in a wide range of classes. Any course that deals with the history of race, ethnicity, labor, or gender, in the United States or Mexico, will benefit from reading Cohen's book."—American Historical Review
"Enlightening and thought provoking."—Journal of American History

"This is an important contribution to the history of relations between Mexico and the U.S. Recommended. Graduate students and above."—Choice

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781469609744
  • Publisher: The University of North Carolina Press
  • Publication date: 8/1/2013
  • Edition description: 1
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 360
  • Product dimensions: 6.10 (w) x 9.20 (h) x 1.00 (d)

Meet the Author

Deborah Cohen is associate professor of history at the University of Missouri-St. Louis.

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