Labor Rights Are Civil Rights: Mexican American Workers in Twentieth-Century America

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Overview

"Labor Rights Are Civil Rights paints a multifaceted portrait of the complexities and contours of the Mexican American struggle for equality from the 1930s to the postwar era." Drawing on extensive archival research, Vargas focuses on the large Mexican American communities in Texas, Colorado, and California. As he explains, the Great Depression heightened the struggles of Spanish-speaking blue-collar workers, and employers began to define citizenship to exclude Mexicans from political rights and erect barriers to resistance. Mexican Americans faced hostility and repatriation.
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Editorial Reviews

Reviews in American History - Roberto R. Trevino
Important books are provocative—they teach us new things, open new conversations, and point the way to new research. Labor Rights Are Civil Rights does all of this.
Labor History - Robert H. Zieger
Vargas does much to chronicle the role of Mexican American workers in the turbulent decades of the 1930s and 1940s and to document their important role in the labor struggles and political controversies of those years.
Western Historical Quarterly - Matt Garcia
Vargas has produced a synthesis of Mexican American labor history worthy of the attention of every labor, Chicano, and civil rights historian.
Business History Review - Clete Daniel
Vargas's analysis is at once informative and illuminating.
Reviews in American History - Roberto R. Treviño
Important books are provocative—they teach us new things, open new conversations, and point the way to new research. Labor Rights Are Civil Rights does all of this.
Reviews in American History
Important books are provocative—they teach us new things, open new conversations, and point the way to new research. Labor Rights Are Civil Rights does all of this.
— Roberto R. Treviño
Labor History
Vargas does much to chronicle the role of Mexican American workers in the turbulent decades of the 1930s and 1940s and to document their important role in the labor struggles and political controversies of those years.
— Robert H. Zieger
Western Historical Quarterly
Vargas has produced a synthesis of Mexican American labor history worthy of the attention of every labor, Chicano, and civil rights historian.
— Matt Garcia
Business History Review
Vargas's analysis is at once informative and illuminating.
— Clete Daniel
Reviews in American History
Important books are provocative—they teach us new things, open new conversations, and point the way to new research. Labor Rights Are Civil Rights does all of this.
— Roberto R. Trevino
From the Publisher
"Important books are provocative—they teach us new things, open new conversations, and point the way to new research. Labor Rights Are Civil Rights does all of this."—Roberto R. Treviño, Reviews in American History

"Vargas does much to chronicle the role of Mexican American workers in the turbulent decades of the 1930s and 1940s and to document their important role in the labor struggles and political controversies of those years."—Robert H. Zieger, Labor History

"Vargas has produced a synthesis of Mexican American labor history worthy of the attention of every labor, Chicano, and civil rights historian."—Matt Garcia, Western Historical Quarterly

"Vargas's analysis is at once informative and illuminating."—Clete Daniel, Business History Review

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Product Details

Meet the Author

Zaragosa Vargas is Professor of History at the University of California, Santa Barbara. He is the author of "Proletarians of the North: A History of Mexican Industrial Workers in Detroit and the Midwest, 1917-1933".
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Table of Contents

Ch. 1 We are the salt of the earth : conditions among Mexican workers in the early Great Depression years 16
Ch. 2 Gaining strength through the union : Mexican labor upheavals in the era of the NRA 62
Ch. 3 "Do you see the light?" : Mexican American workers and CIO organizing 114
Ch. 4 Advocates of racial democracy : Mexican American workers fight for labor and civil rights in the early World War II years 158
Ch. 5 The lie of "America's greatest generation" : Mexican Americans fight against prejudice, intolerance, and hatred during World War II 203
Ch. 6 Labor rights are civil rights : the emergence of the Mexican American civil rights struggle 252
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