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From Coveralls to Zoot Suits: The Lives of Mexican American Women on the World War II Home Front
     

From Coveralls to Zoot Suits: The Lives of Mexican American Women on the World War II Home Front

by Elizabeth R. Escobedo
 

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During World War II, unprecedented employment avenues opened up for women and minorities in U.S. defense industries at the same time that massive population shifts and the war challenged Americans to rethink notions of race. At this extraordinary historical moment, Mexican American women found new means to exercise control over their lives in the home, workplace, and

Overview

During World War II, unprecedented employment avenues opened up for women and minorities in U.S. defense industries at the same time that massive population shifts and the war challenged Americans to rethink notions of race. At this extraordinary historical moment, Mexican American women found new means to exercise control over their lives in the home, workplace, and nation. In From Coveralls to Zoot Suits, Elizabeth R. Escobedo explores how, as war workers and volunteers, dance hostesses and zoot suiters, respectable young ladies and rebellious daughters, these young women used wartime conditions to serve the United States in its time of need and to pursue their own desires.
But even after the war, as Escobedo shows, Mexican American women had to continue challenging workplace inequities and confronting family and communal resistance to their broadening public presence. Highlighting seldom heard voices of the "Greatest Generation," Escobedo examines these contradictions within Mexican families and their communities, exploring the impact of youth culture, outside employment, and family relations on the lives of women whose home-front experiences and everyday life choices would fundamentally alter the history of a generation.

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
Escobedo has produced an exemplary study, a ground-level microhistory that speaks to larger issues and would work well in both undergraduate and graduate courses.—Journal of American History

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781469602066
Publisher:
The University of North Carolina Press
Publication date:
03/21/2013
Sold by:
Barnes & Noble
Format:
NOOK Book
Pages:
256
File size:
3 MB

What People are Saying About This

From the Publisher
Drawing on an impressive range of archival sources, oral narratives, and historiography, Elizabeth Escobedo draws you into the social worlds of young Mexican American women, especially those who were Rosie the Riveters by day and pachucas by night. Intelligent and captivating, this superb study significantly advances our understanding of Mexican American women during and after World War II.—Vicki L. Ruiz, University of California, Irvine

Meet the Author

Elizabeth R. Escobedo is associate professor of history at the University of Denver.

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