In this book, Llana Barber interweaves the histories of urban crisis in U.S. cities and imperial migration from Latin America. Pushed to migrate by political and economic circumstances shaped by the long history of U.S. intervention in Latin America, poor and working-class Latinos then had to reckon with the segregation, joblessness, disinvestment, and profound stigma that plagued U.S. cities during the crisis era, particularly in the Rust Belt. For many Puerto Ricans and Dominicans, there was no "American Dream" awaiting them in Lawrence; instead, Latinos struggled to build lives for themselves in the ruins of industrial America.
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Beautifully written and brimming with insights, Latino City captures the remarkable story of New England's 'Latinization' in the late twentieth century. Chronicling how Dominicans and Puerto Ricans reanimated Lawrence, Massachusetts, after World War II, Barber foregrounds the ways in which U.S. imperialism in the Caribbean drove new demographic changes in that city and elsewhere. A terrific exploration of Latino struggles against deindustrialization, racial violence, and welfare reform as well as the creative ways in which residents of Lawrence remade urban spaces and fashioned new local and transnational politics, Latino City deserves wide attention by scholars and the general public.Stephen Pitti, Yale University