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The Last Cowboys

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Pages: 129

Book format: An electronic version of a printed book that can be read on a computer or handheld device designed specifically for this purpose.

Publisher: Date:12/31/1998 - University of New Mexico Press

By: Connie Brooks

Historians of labor in the United States have given scant attention to Mexican American workers and their trade union activity. Juan Gómez-Quiñones's panoramic history summarized the origins of this work force and the social and economic changes the workers experienced as industrialization and capitalism transformed employment in the nineteenth century. He focus on the southwest and California in particular in recounting worker efforts to organize trade unions over the past one hundred years. As he traces the historic evolution of struggles to gain economic equity and ethnic and gender equality, Gómez-Quiñones introduces the individual experiences of many courageous workers. For example, Francisco Medrano began as a pick-and-shovel man in a Texas quarry in 1939, then got on-the-job training that enabled him to join the United Auto Workers union, where he was the only Chicano in a membership of 30,000, and went on to organize industrial workers throughout Texas and in the 1960s to link labor causes to civil rights and political campaigns.  

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