Murder at the Sleepy Lagoon: Zoot Suits, Race, and Riot in Wartime L.A. / Edition 1

Murder at the Sleepy Lagoon: Zoot Suits, Race, and Riot in Wartime L.A. / Edition 1

3.5 2
by Eduardo Obreg?n Pag?n
     
 

ISBN-10: 0807854948

ISBN-13: 9780807854945

Pub. Date: 11/24/2003

Publisher: The University of North Carolina Press

The notorious 1942 "Sleepy Lagoon" murder trial in Los Angeles concluded with the conviction of seventeen young Mexican American men for the alleged gang slaying of fellow youth Jose Diaz. Just five months later, the so-called Zoot Suit Riot erupted, as white soldiers in the city attacked minority youths and burned their distinctive zoot suits. Eduardo Obregon

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Overview

The notorious 1942 "Sleepy Lagoon" murder trial in Los Angeles concluded with the conviction of seventeen young Mexican American men for the alleged gang slaying of fellow youth Jose Diaz. Just five months later, the so-called Zoot Suit Riot erupted, as white soldiers in the city attacked minority youths and burned their distinctive zoot suits. Eduardo Obregon Pagan here provides the first comprehensive social history of both the trial and the riot and argues that they resulted from a volatile mix of racial and social tensions that had long been simmering.

In reconstructing the lives of the murder victim and those accused of the crime, Pagan contends that neither the convictions (which were based on little hard evidence) nor the ensuing riot arose simply from anti-Mexican sentiment. He demonstrates instead that a variety of pre-existing stresses, including demographic pressures, anxiety about nascent youth culture, and the war effort all contributed to the social tension and the eruption of violence. Moreover, he recovers a multidimensional picture of Los Angeles during World War II that incorporates the complex intersections of music, fashion, violence, race relations, and neighborhood activism.

Drawing upon overlooked evidence, Pagan concludes by reconstructing the murder scene and proposes a compelling theory about what really happened the night of the murder.

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780807854945
Publisher:
The University of North Carolina Press
Publication date:
11/24/2003
Edition description:
1
Pages:
328
Sales rank:
1,093,904
Product dimensions:
6.12(w) x 9.25(h) x 0.78(d)

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments
Prologue: The Sleepy Lagoon Mystery1
Pt. IMake Noise Broken Windows
1Introduction7
2Genealogy of a Crisis19
3The Life and Times of Jose Diaz45
Pt. IILa Vida Dura
4The People v. Zammora et al71
5Dangerous Fashion98
6The Significance of the Pachuco as a General Category and Conception126
Pt. IIIShouting Curses on the Street
7Wars of Resistance145
8Days of Riot167
Pt. IVThe Violent Poetry of the Times
9Uneasy Truce191
Epilogue: Who Killed Jose Diaz?221
AppA Note on Terminology and Methodology229
Notes233
Bibliography283
Index305

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Murder at the Sleepy Lagoon: Zoot Suits, Race, and Riot in Wartime L.A. 3.5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 2 reviews.
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