Corridors of Migration: The Odyssey of Mexican Laborers, 1600-1933 / Edition 1

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Overview


In the San Joaquin Valley Cotton Strike of 1933, frenzied cotton farmers murdered three strikers, intentionally starved at least nine infants, wounded dozens of people, and arrested more. While the story of this incident has been recounted from the perspective of both the farmers and, more recently, the Mexican workers, this is the first book to trace the origins of the Mexican workers’ activism through their common experience of migrating to the United States.

Rodolfo F. Acuña documents the history of Mexican workers and their families from seventeenth-century Chihuahua to twentieth-century California, following their patterns of migration and describing the establishment of communities in mining and agricultural regions. He shows the combined influences of racism, transborder dynamics, and events such as the industrialization of the Southwest, the Mexican Revolution, and World War I in shaping the collective experience of these people as they helped to form the economic, political, and social landscapes of the American Southwest in their interactions with agribusiness and absentee copper barons.

Acuña follows the steps of one of the murdered strikers, Pedro Subia, reconstructing the times and places in which his wave of migrants lived. By balancing the social and geographic trends in the Mexican population with the story of individual protest participants, Acuña shows how the strikes were in fact driven by choices beyond the Mexican workers’ control. Their struggle to form communities graphically retells how these workers were continuously uprooted and their organizations destroyed by capital. Corridors of Migration thus documents twentieth-century Mexican American labor activism from its earliest roots through the mines of Arizona and the Great San Joaquin Valley cotton strike.

From a founding scholar of Chicano studies and the author of fifteen books comes the culmination of three decades of dedicated research into the causes and effects of migration and labor activism. The narrative documents how Mexican workers formed communities against all odds.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

Winner of a CHOICE outstanding Academic Title Award."“A highly readable, well-crafted history of transnational migration and labor struggles. This study deserves a broad readership and would be excellent in both graduate and undergraduate classes.” —Hispanic American Historical Review
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780816528028
  • Publisher: University of Arizona Press
  • Publication date: 8/21/2008
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 424
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 8.90 (h) x 1.10 (d)

Meet the Author


Rodolfo F. Acuña was the founding chair of the Chicano studies program at San Fernando Valley State College and is a professor of Chicano/a studies at California State University, Northridge. He is the author of U.S. Latino Issues and Occupied America: A History of Chicanos, which is now in its sixth edition.
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Table of Contents


List of Illustrations     vii
Preface     ix
Acknowledgments     xv
Why Mexicans Moved     1
The Passing of the Saints     25
The Mesilla Corridor     47
The Sonoran Corridor     62
Corridors, Convergence, and Community     85
Becoming Mexican     101
Mexican Miners     119
The Mexican Revolution     142
To the Other Side of La Linea     170
The Great Copper Wars     189
The Cotton Corridor     215
The San Joaquin Valley Cotton Strike of 1933     237
Bitter Warfare     253
La Mula No Nacio Arisca     274
Abbreviations     287
Notes     289
Sources Cited     365
Index     399
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