Alberto GarcíaMar 11, 2023
Abandoning Their Beloved Land
The Politics of Bracero Migration in Mexico
University of California Press 2023
Abandoning Their Beloved Land: The Politics of Bracero Migration in Mexico (U California Press, 2023) offers an essential new history of the Bracero Program, a bilateral initiative that allowed Mexican men to work in the United States as seasonal contract farmworkers from 1942 to 1964. Using national and local archives in Mexico, historian Alberto García uncovers previously unexamined political factors that shaped the direction of the program, including how officials administered the bracero selection process and what motivated campesinos from central states to migrate. Notably, García's book reveals how and why the federal government's delegation of Bracero Program-related responsibilities, the powerful influence of conservative Catholic opposition groups in central Mexico, and the failures of the revolutionary agrarian reform all profoundly influenced the program's administration and individual decisions to migrate as braceros.
Rachel Grace Newman is a historian of modern Mexico with particular interests in migration, childhood and youth studies, and social inequality. She is Assistant Professor of History at Colgate University.