In the Shadow of the Eagles considers the historical roots of Mexican border society. The Mexican northwest, and Sonora in particular, has often captured the public's imagination; it has been portrayed as a region of untold mineral wealth, insurgent Apaches and Yaquis, self-reliant cowboys, miners, and smugglers. During the nineteenth century, however, the Sonoran region was transformed from a distant frontier outpost to a bustling and influential border state. This transformation gave rise to a dynamic relationship between Sonora and the southwestern United States. In this innovative synthesis of Mexican, border, and western history, Miguel Tinker Salas traces the social and economic history of the Sonora border region and shows the role played by the United States in the economy of Mexico.
Drawing on extensive research in Mexico City, Sonora, Arizona, and California, Tinker Salas contributes original discussions of the development of regional credit practices, the elite's use of violence as a political tool to preserve autonomy, the effects of class, race, and gender in Sonoran society, and the influence of the railroad and mining on the border economy. Balancing theory with original empirical data in a strong, readable narrative, In the Shadow of the Eagles recasts our understanding of regional Mexican history and expands our ideas about the borderlands.