Making Mexican Chicago

From Postwar Settlement to the Age of Gentrification

Mike Amezcua

Making Mexican Chicago

Mike Amezcua

320 pages | 32 halftones | 6 x 9
Cloth $45.00 ISBN: 9780226815824 Will Publish January 2022
E-book $44.99 ISBN: 9780226815831 Will Publish January 2022
An exploration of how the Windy City became a postwar Latinx metropolis in the face of white resistance.
 
Though Chicago is often popularly defined by its Polish, Black, and Irish populations, Cook County is also home to the third-largest Mexican-American population in the United States. The story of Mexican immigration and integration into the city is one of complex political struggles, deeply entwined with issues of housing and neighborhood control. In Making Mexican Chicago, Mike Amezcua explores how the Windy City became a Latinx metropolis in the second half of the twentieth century.

In the decades after World War II, working-class Chicago neighborhoods like Pilsen and Little Village became sites of upheaval and renewal as Mexican Americans attempted to build new communities in the face of white resistance that cast them as perpetual aliens. Amezcua charts the diverse strategies used by Mexican Chicagoans to fight the forces of segregation, economic predation, and gentrification, focusing on how unlikely combinations of social conservatism and the real estate market savvy paved new paths for Latinx assimilation. Making Mexican Chicago offers a powerful multiracial history of Chicago that sheds new light on the origins and endurance of urban inequality.
 
Review Quotes
Lorrin Thomas, author of Puerto Rican Citizen: History and Political Identity in New York City
“A superb addition to the growing body of work on the history of Latinx Chicago. Amezcua offers a nuanced story of the politics of place and space, using the history of housing, displacement, and urban renewal to explore broader patterns of urban change and the evolving strategies of a marginalized group in gaining access to power.”
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