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The third chapter examines penny press attempts to insert working men into Mexican history as active participants whose past and present sacrifices would entitle them to all the rights of “man and citizen,” and thus effect the symbolic transformation of marginalized workers from pelados into el pueblo, the Mexican “people.” On the surface, this transformation involved the relatively straightforward task of writing working-class men into the national narrative as vigorous, heroic participants in the struggle for nationhood rather than as the downtrodden, disloyal populacho (rabble) depicted in official historiographies. A closer look reveals a more complicated and much more revolutionary attempt to remake the subjectivity of working men in order to render them legitimate political subjects entitled to all the rights (and duties) of full-fledged citizenship.

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