Walls and Mirrors Mexican Americans, Mexican Immigrants and the Politics of Ethnicity

ISBN-10: 0520202198

ISBN-13: 9780520202191

Edition: 1995

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Description: Covering more than one hundred years of American history, Walls and Mirrors examines the ways that continuous immigration from Mexico transformed--and continues to shape--the political, social, and cultural life of the American Southwest. Taking a fresh approach to one of the most divisive political issues of our time, David Gutieacute;rrez explores the ways that nearly a century of steady immigration from Mexico has shaped ethnic politics in California and Texas, the two largest U.S. border states. Drawing on an extensive body of primary and secondary sources, Gutieacute;rrez focuses on the complex ways that their pattern of immigration influenced Mexican Americans' sense of social and cultural identity--and, as a consequence, their politics. He challenges the most cherished American myths about U.S. immigration policy, pointing out that, contrary to rhetoric about "alien invasions," U.S. government and regional business interests have actively recruited Mexican and other foreign workers for over a century, thus helping to establish and perpetuate the flow of immigrants into the United States. In addition, Gutieacute;rrez offers a new interpretation of the debate over assimilation and multiculturalism in American society. Rejecting the notion of the melting pot, he explores the ways that ethnic Mexicans have resisted assimilation and fought to create a cultural space for themselves in distinctive ethnic communities throughout the southwestern United States.

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Book details

List price: $31.95
Copyright year: 1995
Publisher: University of California Press
Publication date: 3/27/1995
Binding: Paperback
Pages: 321
Size: 6.25" wide x 9.00" long x 1.00" tall
Weight: 1.144
Language: English

Rosmarie Waldrop was bornin Germany and has lived in theUnited States since 1958. The author and translator of dozens ofbooks of poetry, fiction, and criticism, she is the co-founder and co-publisher of Burning Deck Press.Waldrop's many honors includebeing named a Chevalier des Artset des Lettres, fellowships from theNEA, the Fund for Poetry, and theLila Wallace-Reader's Digest Writers' Award. In 2006 she was electedto the American Academy of Artsand Sciences.David G. Gutierrez is professor of history at the University of California, San Diego.

Acknowledgments
Introduction
Legacies of Conquest
Economic Development and Immigration, 1890-1920
The Shifting Politics of Ethnicity in the Interwar Period
The Contradictions of Ethnic Politics, 1940-1950
Ethnic Politics, Immigration Policy, and the Cold War
Sin Fronteras? The Contemporary Debate
Epilogue
Notes
Bibliography
Index
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