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May 24 , 2009

East Los Angeles

History of a Barrio


This is the story of the largest Mexican-American community in the United States, the city within a city known as "East Los Angeles." How did this barrio of over one million men and women—occupying an area greater than Manhattan or Washington D.C.—come to be?Although promoted early in this century as a workers' paradise, Los Angeles fared poorly in attracting European immigrants and American blue-collar workers. Wages were low, and these workers were understandably reluctant to come to a city which was also troubled by labor strife. Mexicans made up the difference, arriving in the city in massive numbers.Who these Mexicans were and the conditions that caused them to leave their own country are revealed in East Los Angeles. The author examines how they adjusted to life in one of the fastest-growing cities in the United States, how they fared in this country's labor market, and the problems of segregation and prejudice they confronted.

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