"A worthy contribution, the most authoritative and complete volume to date on Latin American migrants to the U.S. South."
—James L. Peacock, author of Grounded Globalism: How the U.S. South Embraces the World
"The South is now the most important destination for Latino migrants to the United States. With the rapid growth and spread of Latinos throughout the South, we see a new social landscape where everything is in transformation: labor markets, towns, schools, unions, religions, race relations, food, sports, and even street signs. Odem and Lacy's volume brings together a new group of scholars to provide the most accurate and sophisticated analysis yet offered on the dynamics of this new phenomenon."
"Drawing on a variety of social science and historical approaches, Odem and Lacy effectively take the pulse of one of the nation's most significant—and unplanned—social experiments: the Latino invasion of Old South states, 1986-2006. Nine essays and a splendid introduction capture a unique tapestry of opportunity, fear, aspiration, and resentment."
—Leon Fink, author of The Maya of Morganton: Work and Community in the Nuevo New South
"Latino Immigrants and the Transformation of the U.S. South is an impressive book that addresses a contentious topic through a breadth of scholarly perspectives and sources. The use of in-depth ethnographies, focus groups, and interviews with undocumented workers adds a poignant and powerful component to some of the chapters. Other chapters examine states, like Alabama, Mississippi, and South Carolina, not traditionally associated with Latino undocumented workers. Even chapters that focus on traditional topics of interest, such as the economic impact of Latino immigrant workers, offer detailed and sophisticated analyses of how Latino immigrants have influenced the U.S. Southeast."
—Journal of Southern History
"This insightful historical contribution to the study of Latino migration to the United States provides key arguments supporting the need for further studies of recent immigration to America."
Among the book’s central themes are the social and economic impact of immigration, the resulting shifts in regional culture, new racial dynamics, immigrant incorporation and place-making, and diverse southern responses to Latino newcomers. Various chapters explore ethnic and racial tensions among poultry workers in rural Mississippi and forestry workers in Alabama; the “Mexicanization” of the urban landscape in Dalton, Georgia; the costs and benefits of Latino labor in North Carolina; the challenges of living in transnational families; immigrant religious practice and community building in metropolitan Atlanta; and the creation of Latino spaces in rural and urban South Carolina and Georgia.
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