Chapter Excerpt

Mexican Americans are the largest and fastest-growing immigrant group in the United States today. Their history dates back thousands of years, and many have ancestors who lived in the Southwest long before the U.S. even existed. How have Mexican immigrants reshaped the United States? What is their history and culture? Why did they leave their homeland? And what does the future hold? Focusing on the human side of the story, Mexican Americans probes these questions by tracing the lives of ordinary and not-so-ordinary people—from a recently retired 80-year-old great-grandmother in San José, who almost by accident came to play a unique role in her nation's history, to a 12-year-old girl in Chicago who dreams of a better life. Packed with photographs and features, this illuminating new book points the way to a journey into the Mexican-American experience.

Excerpted from Mexican Americans by Michael J. Schroeder
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