The Zoot Suit Riots, 1st Edition

  • Kevin Hillstrom
  • Published By:
  • ISBN-10: 0780812875
  • ISBN-13: 9780780812871
  • DDC: 306.09794
  • Grade Level Range: 9th Grade - College Senior
  • 240 Pages | eBook
  • Original Copyright 2012 | Published/Released December 2012
  • This publication's content originally published in print form: 2012

  • Price:  Sign in for price



The Zoot Suit Riots provides a comprehensive overview of the notorious Zoot Suit Riots, an explosive race riot that rocked Los Angeles, California, at the height of the Second World War. The book surveys the political events, social trends, and racial attitudes that contributed to that week-long orgy of violence by white servicemen and civilians against young Mexican-American "zoot suiters," including the Depression-era struggle for jobs and the 1942 Sleepy Lagoon murder. It also provides extensive coverage of the riots themselves, including the central role that state media outlets played in fanning the violence. But the volume also sets the Zoot Suit Riots within the context of the wider Latino-American experience. To that end, the volume also details the history of Hispanics in America from the colonial era to the present, devoting particular attention to high-interest topics like illegal immigration, "English-only" initiatives, heritage preservation, and the Latino community's growing economic and political power in twenty-first century America.

Table of Contents

Front Cover.
Half Title Page.
Title Page.
Copyright Page.
Table of Contents.
How to Use This Book.
Research Topics for Defining Moments: The Zoot Suit Riots.
1: Narrative Overview.
2: Prologue.
3: Caught in the Currents of Empire and Conquest.
4: Rising Tensions in California.
5: A City on Edge.
6: The Trial of the 38th Street Boys.
7: The Zoot Suit Riots.
8: Release from Prison.
9: Legacy of the Zoot Suit Riots.
10: Biographies.
11: Bowron, Fletcher (1887–1968).
12: Díaz, José (1919–1942).
13: Fricke, Charles William (1882–1958).
14: Greenfield, Alice (1917–2009).
15: Leyvas, Henry “Hank” (1923–1971).
16: McWilliams, Carey (1905–1980).
17: Roybal, Edward (1916–2005).
18: Shibley, George (1910–1989).
19: Primary Sources.
20: Anglo Squatters Swarm Mexican-Owned Haciendas in California.
21: Examples of Anti-Mexican Discrimination in 1930s America.
22: Depression-Era Los Angeles Targets Mexicans for Repatriation.
23: A Los Angeles Police Officer Issues a Racist Report on the Mexican “Element”.
24: Courtroom Clashes between Fricke and Shibley.
25: Trying to Survive the Zoot Suit Riots.
26: Mexican-American Activists Assess the Causes of the Zoot Suit Riots.
27: The Los Angeles Times Attacks Eleanor Roosevelt's Stance on the Riots.
28: New Hispanic Hopes and Dreams in the Post-World War II Era.
29: From the Barrio to a German POW Camp—and Back.
30: A Landmark Legal Decision for Mexican Americans.
31: Honoring the Heritage and Contributions of Hispanic Americans.
Important People, Places, and Terms.
Sources for Further Study.
Photo and Illustration Credits.