Bracero Railroaders: The Forgotten World War II Story of Mexican Workers in the U.S. West (Paperback)

Bracero Railroaders: The Forgotten World War II Story of Mexican Workers in the U.S. West By Erasmo Gamboa Cover Image
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Desperate for laborers to keep the trains moving during World War II, the U.S. and Mexican governments created a now mostly forgotten bracero railroad program that sent a hundred thousand Mexican workers across the border to build and maintain railroad lines throughout the United States, particularly the West. Although both governments promised the workers adequate living arrangements and fair working conditions, most bracero railroaders lived in squalor, worked dangerous jobs, and were subject to harsh racial discrimination.

Making matters worse, the governments held a percentage of the workers' earnings in a savings and retirement program that supposedly would await the men on their return to Mexico. However, rampant corruption within both the railroad companies and the Mexican banks meant that most workers were unable to collect what was rightfully theirs.

Historian Erasmo Gamboa recounts the difficult conditions, systemic racism, and decades-long quest for justice these men faced. The result is a pathbreaking examination that deepens our understanding of Mexican American, immigration, and labor histories in the twentieth-century U.S. West.

About the Author

Erasmo Gamboa is professor of American ethnic studies at the University of Washington. He is the author of Mexican Labor and World War II: Braceros in the Pacific Northwest, 1942-1947.

Product Details
ISBN: 9780295744278
ISBN-10: 0295744278
Publisher: University of Washington Press
Publication Date: October 5th, 2018
Pages: 248
Language: English