About the Books

Latinos of Boulder County, Colorado, 1900-1980, a two-volume set by Prof. Marjorie K. McIntosh

This book set describes the lives and contributions of Latinos in Boulder County, shedding light on people who have been largely invisible in local history books and school curricula. Starting with the arrival of Hispanics from Mexico, New Mexico, and southern Colorado between 1900 and 1940, the study traces the experiences of Latinos over the course of four generations. The study draws upon an exceptional collection of 1,600 sources gathered by 10 student interns and 80 community volunteers with the Boulder County Latino History Project in 2013-14. Those sources include oral history interviews, family biographies and photos, films, and newspapers.


Volume I. History and Contributions

This richly illustrated book presents stories of struggle, survival, and joy in the Latino communities of one Colorado county between 1900 and 1980. The volume discusses early immigration, the work done by Latinos and Latinas, and the discrimination and violence they faced in the 1920s and 1930s. It then examines the period between 1940 and 1965, including the roles of Latino soldiers. The final chapters deal with Chicano activism in the community and at the University of Colorado, 1966-1980.

The study focuses on three towns with very different features: Longmont, a center of food production and processing; Lafayette, a small coal mining community; and Boulder, based on commerce and the university.

It is impossible to read this book without being struck by the parallels as well as the contrasts with recent events in the U.S, especially as anti-immigrant political rhetoric escalates. The history of Latinas and Latinos in Boulder County refutes that rhetoric by demonstrating the essential contributions made by people from Spanish speaking backgrounds across the twentieth century.

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Volume II. Lives and Legacies


The second volume paints a vivid picture of the daily lives, culture, and legacies of Latinas and Latinos in Boulder County between 1900 and 1980. The human experiences of individuals and families are described in their own words and through the photos they have preserved.

The book describes the major stages of life and the roles of Latino families, together with the housing and neighborhoods in which they lived. It discusses the cultural importance of food and how health care was provided, as well as social life, entertainment, and sports. Later chapters consider religious activities and education, noting discrimination by local churches and the racism children faced at school.

A captivating epilogue jumps 30 years forward to present the experiences of the ten young Latino interns who worked with the Boulder County Latino History Project in 2013, many of them recent immigrants.

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