"Mexican American Colonization during the Nineteenth Century makes a significant contribution to borderlands, Chicano, and Mexican history especially because José Angel Hernández takes a distinctly transnational approach in examining 'Mexican American' migration 'south' to northern Mexico, rather than 'Mexican' migration 'north' to the southwestern United States. While bridging the gap between traditional area studies focused on the United States or Latin America, Hernández's methodology empirically tests the supposed motivations attributed to 'Mexican repatriates' against the documentary record, concluding with a more subtle interpretation. Equally impressive is his thoroughly bi-national and bilingual use of both primary and secondary sources. In the final analysis, José Angel Hernández, in revealing the surprising impact of ethnic Mexican repatriates on their nineteenth-century 'homeland' south of the 1848 border, develops a brilliantly original approach worthy of imitation."
John Chavez, Southern Methodist University
"José Angel Hernández has written an important book about the little-known history of the repatriation of Mexicans in the decades after the U.S.-Mexican War. His work is notable for connecting specific and well-researched cases spanning the entire border from Texas to California to the broad themes of migration, the creation of national spaces, and memory that have been so central in shaping the region."
Andres Resendez, University of California, Davis
"Hernández's illuminating book transforms our understanding of the U.S.-Mexico borderlands in the latter half of the nineteenth century. He explores the extensive repatriation of Mexican Americans in the colonization of northern Mexico. These policies, he argues, had more to do with defending settlements against the threats of Anglo American invasion and Apache raiding than the often-cited ideological notions of racial 'whitening' or sentimental nationalism. His revealing bi-national archival work opens crucial questions that many scholars considered closed."
Renato Rosaldo, New York University
"With one out of ten Mexicans now living in the United States, José Hernández's brilliant historical analysis of Mexico's relationship to its diaspora is a timely and important contribution to knowledge about our often misunderstood southern neighbor. More than any other author, he explains how and why Mexico's northern frontier became transformed into an entity known simply as 'the border'."
Douglas S. Massey, Princeton University
"Suggested for immigration scholars, lawyers, and immigrants' rights advocates. Highly recommended."
"This solid book begins with an examination of the repatriation of Mexicans south of the border and then moves to a fascinating analysis of the Mexican government's orientation toward those now in México de Afuera, or 'Mexico beyond'."
Douglas Monroy, The Journal of American History
"Mexican American Colonization during the Nineteenth Century offers a compelling transnational story that adds to historians' and other scholars' understanding of Chicano and borderlands history."
Sterling Evans, H-Borderlands
"The narrative is both dramatic and engaging. I strongly recommend this book."
Southwestern Historical Quarterly
This study examines various cases of return migration from the United States to Mexico throughout the nineteenth century. Mexico developed a robust immigration policy after becoming an independent nation in 1821, but was unable to attract European settlers for a variety of reasons. As the United States expanded toward Mexico's northern frontiers, Mexicans in those areas now lost to the United States were subsequently seen as an ideal group to colonize and settle the fractured republic.See all Editorial Reviews