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Mexican Labor and World War II Braceros in the Pacific Northwest, 1942-1947

by Erasmo Gamboa, Kevin Leonard

Mexican Labor and World War II Braceros in the Pacific Northwest, 1942-1947 Synopsis

Although Mexican migrant workers have toiled in the fields of the Pacific Northwest since the turn of the century, and although they comprise the largest work force in the region's agriculture today, they have been virtually invisible in the region's written labor history. Erasmo Gamboa's study of the bracero program during World War II is an important beginning, describing and documenting the labor history of Mexican and Chicano workers in Oregon, Washington, and Idaho and contributing to our knowledge of farm labor. -Oregon Historical Quarterly

Mexican Labor and World War II Braceros in the Pacific Northwest, 1942-1947 Press Reviews

Gamboa claims that the experiences of Mexican contract laborers in the Pacific Northwest were unique. These braceros encountered more discriminatory wage systems, working conditions that `truly dehumanized' them, strong racial animosity, and little recognition for their role in keeping Northwest agriculture afloat during World War II. These braceros, the most militant of all such laborers, fought back with strikes. * Journal of the West * Gamboa has provided intriguing glimpses into the experiences of a Mexican-origin population well away from the border states. . . . [He] has done an admirable job in broadening our understanding of the bracero experience by underscoring how differently the program operated in the Pacific Northwest. . . . Mexican nationals working in the region suffered from a profound sense of cultural dislocation that led many of them to desert their jobs well before their contracts had expired. * Agricultural History * A much needed analysis. . . . [Gamboa's] analysis of the ways in which Braceros were active agents of their own lives is probing and insightful. His descriptions of living and working conditions in migrant farm camps are detailed and reveal a deep sensitivity for the men who travelled so far from home in order to find work. * Pacific Historical Review * Although Mexican migrant workers have toiled in the fields of the Pacific Northwest since the turn of the century, and although they comprise the largest work force in the region's agriculture today, they have been virtually invisible in the region's written labor history. Erasmo Gamboa's study of the bracero program during World War II is an important beginning, describing and documenting the labor history of Mexican and Chicano workers in Oregon, Washington, and Idaho and contributing to our knowledge of farm labor. * Oregon Historical Quarterly *

Book Information

ISBN: 9780295978499
Publication date: 31st December 1999
Author: Erasmo Gamboa, Kevin Leonard
Publisher: University of Washington Press
Format: Paperback / softback
Pagination: 208 pages
Categories: Socialism & left-of-centre democratic ideologies, Labour economics, History: specific events & topics, Regional studies,

About Erasmo Gamboa, Kevin Leonard

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