Mexican Waves offers a clearly written and carefully researched investigation of radio broadcasting's role in shaping the United States–Mexico borderlands into a binational cultural zone during the period 1930–50. Well before railways or roads connected the region and even before Baja California became a state, commercial stations covered the vast northern border of Mexico and helped build economic and cultural connections to the southwestern United States. Robles draws on diverse archival and published sources, the most important of which are the records of over 100 radio stations in the Ministry of Communications and Public Works (SCOP) collection at the Mexican national archives. Robles uses these documents to explore the ways that federal officials and distant radio stations negotiated border broadcasting practices. She argues that although federal regulators attempted to enforce national norms, they ultimately adapted legislation and regulatory practices to the distinctly...

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