Catalogue


Smeltertown : making and remembering a Southwest border community /
Monica Perales.
imprint
Chapel Hill, NC : University of North Carolina Press, c2010.
description
xiv, 333 p.
ISBN
080787146X (pbk. : alk. paper), 9780807871461 (pbk. : alk. paper)
format(s)
Book
Holdings
More Details
imprint
Chapel Hill, NC : University of North Carolina Press, c2010.
isbn
080787146X (pbk. : alk. paper)
9780807871461 (pbk. : alk. paper)
contents note
pt. 1. Making places -- Making a border city -- Creating Smeltertown -- pt. 2. Making identities -- We're just smelter people -- We were one hundred percent Mexican -- She was very American -- pt. 3. Remembering Smeltertown -- The demise of Smeltertown -- Epilogue: Finding Smeltertown.
general note
"Published in association with the William P. Clements Center for Southwest Studies, Southern Methodist University."
catalogue key
7268432
 
Includes bibliographical references and index.
A Look Inside
About the Author
Author Affiliation
Monica Perales is assistant professor of history at the University of Houston.
Excerpts
Flap Copy
Nestled on the banks of the Rio Grande, at the heart of a railroad, mining, and smelting empire, Smeltertown 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. Smeltertown provides insight into how people and places invent and reinvent themselves and sheds light on a vibrant community grappling with its own sense of self and its place in history and collective memory.
Flap Copy
Nestled on the banks of the Rio Grande, at the heart of a railroad, mining, and smelting empire, Smeltertown 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.Smeltertownprovides insight into how people and places invent and reinvent themselves and sheds light on a vibrant community grappling with its own sense of self and its place in history and collective memory.
Full Text Reviews
Appeared in Library Journal on 2010-08-01:
Smeltertown, or La Esmelda, was a company town that developed around the American Smelting and Refining Company plant in El Paso, TX. Perales (history, Univ. of Houston) offers not simply a narrative history of this area, but also a look at how the community was created by Anglos and Hispanics, citizens and immigrants, rich and poor. The book explores the sometimes contradictory dichotomy between the history and the development of the community, in particular the paternal and often negative treatment of the Mexican labor pool, and how the residents, Esmeltianos, created a sense of place and fashioned their identities as Mexicans and Americans. Personal stories and remembrances throughout the text help paint a picture that appears rosier, at least in the Esmeltianos' memory, than the history portrays. VERDICT Though the text is a bit repetitious, this well-researched and well-documented work would be a good addition for academic libraries, especially collections related to borderlands studies or labor issues.-Mike Miller, Austin P.L., TX (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
Reviews
Review Quotes
"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
"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
"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. . . . Well researched and well documented." -Library Journal
"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
" 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
"In addition to telling the story of the birth, life, and demise of a vibrant community,Smeltertownprovides valuable insights." -Humanities Texas
"Highly recommended." - Southern Historian
"In addition to telling the story of the birth, life, and demise of a vibrant community, Smeltertown provides valuable insights." - Humanities Texas
"An exhaustively researched and engaging history of the generations of ethnic Mexicans who lived and died in the community they called "La Esmelda".... A living text of human community." - Oral History Review
"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
This item was reviewed in:
Library Journal, August 2010
To find out how to look for other reviews, please see our guides to finding book reviews in the Sciences or Social Sciences and Humanities.
Summaries
Main Description
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.
Main Description
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,Smeltertowntraces 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 smelterrs"s giant smokestacks.Smeltertownprovides 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.
Table of Contents
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.

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