Steel Barrio

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Steel Barrio:
The Great Mexican Migration to South Chicago, 1915-1940

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The richly documented history of Mexican South Chicago here yields a sophisticated, rounded, and compelling study of the evolution of an immigrant place. Attentive to structural factors shaping migration and assimilation, Innis-Jiménez also tells textured human stories of the work, play, and solidarity that created and recreated an enduring community, snatching life from discrimination and hardship.  David Roediger, University of Illinois

The task of explaining how the second largest ‘Mexican city’ in the United States, Chicago, came to be has fallen to this generation of U.S. historians. Innis-Jiménez’s Steel Barrio is a fascinating and often enlightening contribution to that end. Beyond providing us an origin story of the Mexican community in the windy city, he explains why Mexicans live where they do and the unique way in which they inhabit that space. In doing so, Innis-Jiménez transforms our thinking about Mexican American history and the history of urban America. Matthew Garcia, Arizona State University

Since the early twentieth century, thousands of Mexican Americans have lived, worked, and formed communities in Chicago’s steel mill neighborhoods. Drawing on individual stories and oral histories, Michael Innis-Jiménez tells the story of a vibrant, active community that continues to play a central role in American politics and society.

Steel Barrio reconstructs the everyday strategies the working-class Mexican American community adopted to survive in areas from labor to sports to activism. This book links a particular community in South Chicago to broader issues in twentieth-century U.S. history, including race and labor, urban immigration, and the segregation of cities.

Order Now from: Amazon, NYU Press, Barnes & Noble, Powell’s Books

 

Talking Steel Barrio at the Gorgas Library of the University of Alabama

Talking Steel Barrio at the Gorgas Library of the University of Alabama

Steel Barrio at the 2013 American Studies Association

Steel Barrio at the 2013 American Studies Association

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