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The Zoot-Suit Riots: The Psychology of Symbolic Annihilation

3.27  ·  Rating Details ·  11 Ratings  ·  4 Reviews
Los Angeles, the summer of 1943. For ten days in June, Anglo servicemen and civilians clashed in the streets of the city with young Mexican Americans whose fingertip coats and pegged, draped trousers announced their rebellion. At their height, the riots involved several thousand men and women, fighting with fists, rocks, sticks, and sometimes knives. In the end none were ...more
Paperback, 179 pages
Published January 1st 1988 by University of Texas Press
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R Z
Aug 18, 2016 R Z rated it it was ok
Reading through this, I had to constantly remind myself that it was written in the 1980s— Mazon uses language, comparisons, and psychology that is not in use today (Freudian theory, how he refers to members of different communities, and outdated comparisons to the mentally ill.) While not dense, it uses language in a way that makes you take a break every three or four pages; it's dry.

I enjoyed it for what it was, a psychoanalytic view of factors contributing to the soot-suit riots— it would be
...more
Zack
Apr 17, 2015 Zack added it
i disagree with the person who reviewed this book saying it's dull because it discusses the history of the zoot-suit riots in terms of psychological symbolism. i think that we often don't consider how people are thinking enough when we discuss historical events. the way mauricio mazon gets inside the heads of the zoot-suiters and the servicemen who treated them in such a ridiculous manner is really revealing of a lot of the ways people in general were thinking about ww2. it's a really ...more
Emily
Dec 26, 2015 Emily rated it liked it
I'm not a fan of psychoanalytic historiography as I feel it restricts information to fulfill a particular psychoanalytical theory. The research methods used to write this book were impeccable and I appreciated the information about post-Zoot Suit riot California, but found the basic thesis of the work belabored.
Chi Chi
Nov 12, 2010 Chi Chi rated it it was ok
How do you take an interesting point in American history, and make it absolutely dull? Discuss it in terms of psychological symbolism.
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