Smeltertown: Making and Remembering a Southwest Border Community / Edition 1

Smeltertown: Making and Remembering a Southwest Border Community / Edition 1

ISBN-10:
0807834114
ISBN-13:
9780807834114
Pub. Date:
09/13/2010
Publisher:
The University of North Carolina Press
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Overview

Smeltertown: Making and Remembering a Southwest Border Community / Edition 1

Company town. Blighted community. Beloved home. Nestled on the banks of the Rio Grande, at the heart of a railroad, mining, and smelting empire, Smeltertown—La Esmelda, as its residents called it—was home to generations of ethnic Mexicans who labored at the American Smelting and Refining Company in El Paso, Texas.

Using newspapers, personal archives, photographs, employee records, parish newsletters, and interviews with former residents, including her own relatives, Monica Perales unearths the history of this forgotten community. Spanning almost a century, Smeltertown traces the birth, growth, and ultimate demise of a working class community in the largest U.S. city on the Mexican border and places ethnic Mexicans at the center of transnational capitalism and the making of the urban West. Perales shows that Smeltertown was composed of multiple real and imagined social worlds created by the company, the church, the schools, and the residents themselves. Within these dynamic social worlds, residents forged permanence and meaning in the shadow of the smelter's giant smokestacks. Smeltertown provides insight into how people and places invent and reinvent themselves and illuminates a vibrant community grappling with its own sense of itself and its place in history and collective memory.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780807834114
Publisher: The University of North Carolina Press
Publication date: 09/13/2010
Edition description: 1
Pages: 352
Product dimensions: 6.20(w) x 9.40(h) x 1.00(d)

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments xi

Introduction 1

Part I Making Places

1 Making a Border City 21

2 Creating Smeltertown 57

Part II Making Identities

3 We're Just Smelter People 97

4 We Were One Hundred Percent Mexican 149

5 She Was Very American 185

Part III Remembering Smeltertown

6 The Demise of Smeltertown 225

Epilogue Finding Smeltertown 261

Notes 279

Index 319

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