Blood Oranges seeks to understand why ethnic Mexicans in South Texas are the poorest, least educated, and unhealthiest demographic in the United States. For author Timothy Paul Bowman, the answer is that the “marginalization of ethnic Mexicans in the twentieth- century South Texas borderlands occurred because white Americans, mostly from the US Midwest, colonized the region in the early twentieth century” (2–3). Bowman applies the imperial/colonial labor model to South Texas, arguing that the region’s racialized labor system resulted from internal colonization of a subject people. Anglo farmers actively colonized the “foreign” space of South Texas. That process required the creation of a subject Mexican labor class from the region’s population. Although that colonial project failed by mid-century, Bowman argues the legacies of internal colonialism continued to shape South Texas through the present.

Anyone writing on South Texas must contend with...

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