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

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

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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.
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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"Well written with an impressive use of firsthand accounts, including oral histories and interviews. . . . Escobedo does a wonderful job sifting through the evidence to bring to light a previously neglected subject. Scholars of twentieth-century American history, Mexican American history, World War II, and American race and gender will find this book valuable for its examination of how Latinas were able to maneuver through previously held biases and stereotypes in order to improve the world around them."--Southwestern Historical Quarterly

"Escobedo's detailed work leaves no doubt that the distinctive experiences of Mexican American women form a powerful lens through which to view U.S. history more generally, particularly the history of World War II."--American Studies Journal

"An excellent read for those wishing to understand the roles of women in the 1940s from a perspective not often revealed and how these experiences have influenced the young women of today."--Journal of Family & Consumer Sciences

"[A] deft examination of the simultaneously liberating and limiting wartime experiences of Mexican American women."--Register of the Kentucky Historical Society

"[A] well-written, thoughtful work."--Western Historical Quarterly

"Escobedo's book still expands our understanding of race, community, and identity in new and important ways that speak to both the significance of the period as well as larger concepts, such as how everyday practices can also be viewed as examples of poli

"Escobedo has written a fine addition to an ever-growing body of work on Mexican Americans during World War II, in the tradition of the culture-conscious social historians George Sanchez and, especially, Vicki Ruiz."--American Historical Review

"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

"A solidly researched and well-written perspective."--Minnesota History

"A rich and multifaceted view of Mexican American women's lives in Los Angeles in the 1940s and 1950s. . . . Fresh and exciting."--Women's Review of Books

"A superbly researched and written book. . . . [Escobedo] draws heavily on oral histories and archival documents, and her use of photographs from the Los Angeles Public Library makes for an attractive presentation. . . . Highly recommended. All levels/lib

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781469602066
  • Publisher: The University of North Carolina Press
  • Publication date: 3/21/2013
  • Sold by: Barnes & Noble
  • Format: eBook
  • Sales rank: 612,457
  • File size: 3 MB

Meet the Author

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