Published by University of Texas Press on 1991
"... ranks with the best scholarship in Chicano history. ... Al Norte emerges as the most extensive discussion of migration, settlement, and entrenchment of Mexicanos in the Midwest." --Arnoldo De León, author of They Called Them Greasers: Anglo Attitudes toward Mexicans in Texas, 1821-1900.
In the early part of the twentieth century, the productive agricultural lands of the upper Midwest attracted the interest of industrialists. They did not buy agricultural lands but, instead, geared up for mass production by constructing refineries and food processing plants, while contracting with family farmers to grow sugar beets, fruits, and vegetables. As a result, many agricultural jobs were created, and workers, especially from Texas and northern Mexico, rushed to fill them. Dennis N. Valdés' pioneering study is the first social history of these workers.
Al Norte is a unique work in several respects. To begin with, it is the first extended history of Latinos in the Midwest, as well as the first scholarly social history of farmworkers in any region of the United States. In addition, Al Norte is the first study to examine the impact of changes in the work process on the daily lives of workers in an industry over a period of several decades.
Dennis Nodín Valdés is associate professor of history and Chicano studies at the University of Minnesota.
First Edition, 1991