Rowman & Littlefield Publishers
Trim: 6 x 9
978-0-7425-5327-9 • Hardback • February 2008 • $131.00 • (£101.00)
978-0-7425-5328-6 • Paperback • February 2008 • $59.00 • (£45.00)
978-1-4617-0031-9 • eBook • February 2008 • $56.00 • (£43.00)
Teresa Van Hoy is assistant professor of history at St. Mary's University.
Chapter 1: Twelve Hours on a Train Rather Than Twelve Days on a Litter: Independence and Isolation
Chapter 2: Thatched Huts, Cactus Fences, and Crops Unplanted: Railroads and Land—Southern Mexico
Chapter 3: From Convicts and Conscripts to Payroll Crews: Labor on the Railroads—From Unpaid to Well Paid
Chapter 4: Wood, Lime, and Crushed Rock: Labor on the Railroads—Beyond the Payroll
Chapter 5: Pilgrimages, Mangos, and Medicine: Railroad Services—Formal and Informal
Chapter 6: Inspectors, Inaugurations, and Public Bulletins: Authoritarian Policies—Mellowed and Manipulated
Van Hoy has written an important book. . . . The author is best where she burrows into railroad working culture.
— American Historical Review
The book is well researched and based on a broad array of archival sources from Mexico, the United States, and Great Britain. This study is as much a social history as it is a top-down economic history of a railroad construction and operation. Van Hoy provides a valuable corrective to the history of Mexico's railroad industry. This is an important book and should be essential reading for anyone interested in the railroad industry or nineteenth- and early twentieth-century Mexico.
— Hispanic American Historical Review
Van Hoy has produced an outstanding work that expands our collective knowledge and challenges our innate assumptions regarding Mexico's railroads. Most scholarship on railroads provides little more than a glimpse into the lives of these workers. This provides a panoramic view.
— The Americas: A Quarterly Review of Latin American History
How refreshing! At last we have a study about modernization and capital penetration in Latin America that takes into account ordinary citizens—and not merely as victims but as agents. Van Hoy has done research in a wide range of documents that reveal life along the tracks, where Mexican workers entered freely into labor contracts, small holders negotiated favorable settlements from bureaucrats, suppliers developed local businesses, and the poor also caught the travel bug. Moreover, her analysis of Mexican railways during the Porfiriato forces us historians to reassess our views of the period as well as our conceptions of the social costs of development.
— Jonathan C. Brown, University of Texas