An examination of the career of Texas Ranger and immigration official William Hanson illustrating the intersections of corruption, state-building, and racial violence in early twentieth century Texas.
At the Texas-Mexico border in the 1910s and 1920s, William Hanson was a witness to, and an active agent of, history. As a Texas Ranger captain and then a top official in the Immigration Service, he helped shape how US policymakers understood the border, its residents, and the movement of goods and people across the international boundary. An associate of powerful politicians and oil company executives, he also used his positions to further his and his patrons' personal interests, financial and political, often through threats and extralegal methods.
Hanson’s career illustrates the ways in which legal exclusion, white-supremacist violence, and official corruption overlapped and were essential building blocks of a growing state presence along the border in the early twentieth century. In this book, John Weber reveals Hanson’s cynical efforts to use state and federal power to proclaim the border region inherently dangerous and traces the origins of current nativist politics that seek to demonize the border population. In doing so, he provides insight into how a minor political appointee, motivated by his own ambitions, had lasting impacts on how the border was experienced by immigrants and seen by the nation.
Against a backdrop of revolution, border banditry, freewheeling aerial dramatics, and World War II comes this compelling look at the rise of U.S. combat aviation at an unlikely proving ground—a remote airfield in the rugged reaches of the southwestern Texas borderlands. Here, at Elmo Johnson's Big Bend ranch, hundreds of young Army Air Corps pilots demonstrated the U.S. military's reconnaissance and emergency response capabilities and, in so doing, dramatized the changing role of the airplane as an instrument of war and peace.
Kenneth Ragsdale's gripping account not only sets the United States squarely in the forefront of aerial development but also provides a reflective look at U.S.-Mexican relations of the 1920s, 1930s, and 1940s, particularly the tense days and aftermath of the Escobar Rebellion of 1929. He paints a vivid picture of the development of the U.S. aerial strike force; the character, ideals, and expectations of the men who would one day become combat leaders; and the high esteem in which U.S. citizens held the courageous pilots.
Particularly noteworthy is Ragsdale's portrait of Elmo Johnson, the Big Bend rancher, trader, and rural sage who emerges as the dominant figure at one of the most unusual facilities in the annals of the Air Corps. Wings over the Mexican Border tells a stirring story of the American frontier juxtaposed with the new age of aerial technology.
This reader includes twenty-three essays—two of which are translated from the Spanish—that illuminate women’s engagement with diverse social and cultural challenges. One contributor critiques the statistical fallacy of nativist discourses within the United States that portray Chicana and Mexican women’s fertility rates as “out of control.” Other contributors explore the relation between sexual violence and women’s migration from rural areas to urban centers within Mexico, the ways that undocumented migrant communities challenge conventional notions of citizenship, and young Latinas’ commemorations of the late, internationally renowned singer Selena. Several essays address workplace intimidation and violence, harassment and rape by U.S. border patrol agents and maquiladora managers, sexual violence, and the brutal murders of nearly two hundred young women near Ciudad Juárez. This rich collection highlights both the structural inequities faced by Mexican women in the borderlands and the creative ways they have responded to them.
Contributors. Ernestine Avila, Xóchitl Castañeda, Sylvia Chant, Leo R. Chavez, Cynthia Cranford, Adelaida R. Del Castillo, Sylvanna M. Falcón, Gloria González-López, Maria de la Luz Ibarra, Jonathan Xavier Inda, Rosa Linda Fregoso, Jennifer S. Hirsch, Pierrette Hondagneu-Sotelo, Eithne Luibheid, Victoria Malkin, Faranak Miraftab, Olga Nájera-Ramírez, Norma Ojeda de la Peña, Deborah Paredez, Leslie Salzinger, Felicity Schaeffer-Grabiel, Denise A. Segura, Laura Velasco Ortiz, Melissa W. Wright, Patricia Zavella
This wide-ranging anthology—gathering short stories and essays, song lyrics and poems—offers readers a new appreciation of the border and its literature. Residents of the region may be startled to learn how many passers-by have been struck by this unruly slice of North America, while those living in other parts of the country may be surprised to find it more than a dateline for reports of smuggling and illegal immigration.
Collected here are both celebrated and underappreciated gems of American and Mexican literature depicting a region that for some writers represents an exotic land, for others home. Writing on the Edge juxtaposes passages by New Jersey poet William Carlos Williams and native songwriter Flaco Jiménez, British novelist Graham Greene and American poet Demetria Martínez, to show us the border from both sides and from a distance. In all of the selections, La Frontera looms larger than life—an energizing force that frames the lives of the characters living within its boundaries. Included in the book is a literary map of the border highlighting the sites with which each author is identified.
As editor Tom Miller observes, the very notion of literature in a region considered an "irrelevant nuisance" allows for more free-ranging creative output." Writing on the Edge sparkles with such creativity and invites readers to enjoy the best of two worlds—and of the world they share.
Print a literary map of the borderlands here!
Browse our collection.
See BiblioVault's publisher services.
Files for college accessibility offices.
UChicago Accessibility Resources
BiblioVault ® 2001 - 2023
The University of Chicago Press