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Smeltertown : Making and Remembering a Southwest Border Community - Monica Perales


Making and Remembering a Southwest Border Community

Paperback Published: 13th September 2010
ISBN: 9780807871461
Number Of Pages: 352

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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.

Industry Reviews

Smeltertown is an engaging exploration of the intersections of globalization and transnationalism." --The Journal of American History

Smeltertown is an important contribution to the growing body of research in Mexican American, gender, and social history.--Journal of Southern History

A significant contribution to our understanding of Chicana/o and labor history. . . . Aside from being thoroughly researched, Perales's book is excellently composed. . . . It will be of use to labor, gender, environmental, and social historians.--Southwestern Historical Quarterly

In addition to telling the story of the birth, life, and demise of a vibrant community, Smeltertown provides valuable insights.--Humanities Texas

Highly recommended.--Southern Historian

Historian [Perales] chronicles [the] birth, growth, and death of her family's neighborhood. . . . [in] the first in-depth book about Smeltertown.--El Paso Times

Perales chronicle[s] the journey of Mexican-Americans and their role in the industrialization and globalization of a small community near El Paso. Her book . . . tells their story where families thrived and business excelled.--Houston Chronicle

Not just a narrative history . . . but also a look at how the community was created by Anglos and Hispanics, citizens and immigrants, rich and poor. . . . This well-researched and well-documented work would be a good addition for academic libraries, especially collections related to borderlands studies or labor issues.--Library Journal

Acknowledgmentsp. xi
Introductionp. 1
Making Places
Making a Border Cityp. 21
Creating Smeltertownp. 57
Making Identities
We're Just Smelter Peoplep. 97
We Were One Hundred Percent Mexicanp. 149
She Was Very Americanp. 185
Remembering Smeltertown
The Demise of Smeltertownp. 225
Epilogue Finding Smeltertownp. 261
Notesp. 279
Indexp. 319
Table of Contents provided by Ingram. All Rights Reserved.

ISBN: 9780807871461
ISBN-10: 080787146X
Audience: Professional
Format: Paperback
Language: English
Number Of Pages: 352
Published: 13th September 2010
Publisher: The University of North Carolina Press
Country of Publication: US
Dimensions (cm): 23.5 x 15.88  x 2.54
Weight (kg): 0.52
Edition Type: New edition