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  • Writer's pictureJuan M. Pedroza


Updated: Dec 29, 2020

As a history major at DePauw University, a 2002-03 senior thesis project took me to Chicago’s libraries in search of anything I could find on Mexican migration to Chicago.

17 years later, we have over 30 books on Mexican, Puerto Rican, and Latine Chicago!

In 2020, I compiled Twitter threads on these books across multiple disciplines:

  • History

  • Sociology and Social Work

  • Anthropology, Language, and Linguistics

See all three links to my Twitter feed @ijuanathesaurus below


Histories of Mexican & Puerto Rican Chicago:

Twentieth-Century Migration, Racial Formations, and Community-Building en el Mero Norte

Chronologically, in order of publication

  1. Arredondo, Gabriela F. Mexican Chicago: Race, Identity, and Nation, 1916-39. University of Illinois Press, 2008.

  2. Fernandez, Lilia. Brown in the Windy City: Mexicans and Puerto Ricans in Postwar Chicago. University of Chicago Press, 2012.

  3. Innis-Jiménez, Michael. Steel Barrio: The Great Mexican Migration to South Chicago, 1915-1940. New York University Press, 2013.

  4. Flores, John H. The Mexican Revolution in Chicago: Immigration Politics from the Early Twentieth Century to the Cold War. University of Illinois Press, 2018.

  5. Sandoval-Strausz, Andrew K. Barrio America: How Latino Immigrants Saved the American City. Hachette UK, 2019.

  6. Kanter, Deborah E. Chicago Católico: Making Catholic Parishes Mexican. University of Illinois Press, 2020.


Sociologies of Mexican, Puerto Rican, and Latine Chicago:

Community and Transnational Networks vs. Surveillance and Isolation in Carceral Chicago

Chronologically, in order of publication

  1. Horowitz, Ruth. Honor and the American Dream: Culture and Identity in a Chicano Community. Rutgers University Press, 1983.

  2. Padilla, Felix M. Latino Ethnic Consciousness: The Case of Mexican Americans and Puerto Ricans in Chicago. University of Notre Dame Press, 1985.

  3. Padilla, Felix M. Puerto Rican Chicago. University of Notre Dame Press, 1987.

  4. Padilla, Felix M. The Gang as an American Enterprise. Rutgers University Press, 1992.

  5. Flores-Gonzalez, Nilda. School Kids/Street Kids: Identity Development in Latino Students. Teachers College Press, 2002.

  6. Zamudio Grave, Patricia. Rancheros en Chicago: Vida y Conciencia en una Historia de Migrantes. México, Universidad Autónoma de Zacatecas/Miguel Ángel Porrúa, 2009.

  7. Klinenberg, Eric. Heat Wave: A Social Autopsy of Disaster in Chicago. University of Chicago Press, 2002 (2nd edition 2015).

  8. Spergel, Irving A. Reducing Youth Gang Violence: The Little Village Gang Project in Chicago. Rowman Altamira, 2007.

  9. Cruz, Wilfredo. City of Dreams: Latino Immigration to Chicago. University Press of Amer, 2007.

  10. Bada, Xóchitl. Mexican Hometown Associations in Chicagoacán: From Local to Transnational Civic Engagement. Rutgers University Press, 2014.

  11. Vargas, Robert. Wounded City: Violent Turf Wars in a Chicago Barrio. Oxford University Press, 2016.

  12. Van Cleve, Nicole Gonzalez. Crook County: Racism and Injustice in America's Largest Criminal Court. Stanford University Press, 2016.


Anthropologies of Puerto Rican, Mexican, and Intralatina/o Chicago:

Migration, Transnationalism, and Gentrification in Puerto Rican and Mexican Chicago; Inquiries into Social Frictions of Language, Race, and Place

Chronologically, in order of publication

  1. Ramos-Zayas, Ana Y. National Performances: The Politics of Class, Race, and Space in Puerto Rican Chicago. University of Chicago Press, 2003.

  2. De Genova, Nicholas, and Ana Y. Ramos-Zayas. Latino Crossings: Mexicans, Puerto Ricans, and the Politics of Race and Citizenship. Routledge, 2003.

  3. Pérez, Gina. The Near Northwest Side Story: Migration, Displacement, and Puerto Rican Families. University of California Press, 2004.

  4. De Genova, Nicholas. Working the Boundaries: Race, Space, and 'Illegality' in Mexican Chicago. Duke University Press, 2005.

  5. Farr, Marcia. Rancheros in Chicagoacán: Language and Identity in a Transnational Community. University of Texas Press, 2006.

  6. Rúa, Mérida M., ed. Latino Urban Ethnography and the Work of Elena Padilla. University of Illinois Press, 2010.

  7. Gomberg-Muñoz, Ruth. Labor and Legality: An Ethnography of a Mexican Immigrant Network. Oxford University Press, 2011 (2nd edition: 2019).

  8. Rúa, Mérida M. A Grounded Identidad: Making New Lives in Chicago's Puerto Rican Neighborhoods. Oxford University Press, 2012.

  9. Bedorf, Franziska. Sweet Home Chicago? Mexican Migration and the Question of Belonging and Return. Transcript-Verlag, 2018.

  10. Rosa, Jonathan. Looking like a Language, Sounding like a Race. Oxford University Press, 2019.

  11. Aparicio, Frances R. Negotiating Latinidad: Intralatina/o Lives in Chicago. University of Illinois Press, 2019.


Next, I will read books from public health (Ramirez-Valles), political science (Pallares), education (Stovall), communication (Báez). Others are in press from education (Perez; Alanis) and history (Amezcua).


In press:

  • Perez, Mario Rios. Subjects of Resistance: Education, Race, and Transnational Life in Mexican Chicago, 1910-1940. Rutgers University Press, 2021.

  • Alanis, Jaime. Blowouts: Latinismo and Chicanismo in Late 1960’s Chicago. University of Illinois Press, <in press>.

  • Amezcua, Mike. <the making of Mexican Chicago> University of Chicago Press, 2021.

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