Juárez is no ordinary city. Its history is exhilarating and tragic. Part of the state of Chihuahua and located on the border with the United States opposite El Paso, Texas, Juárez has often captured the world’s attention in dramatic fashion.
In Ciudad Juárez: Saga of a Legendary Border City, Oscar J. Martínez provides a historical overview of the economic and social evolution of this famous transnational urban center from the 1848 creation of the international boundary between Mexico and the United States to the present, emphasizing the city’s deep ties to the United States.
Martínez also explores major aspects of the social history of the city, including cross-border migration, urbanization, population growth, living standards, conditions among the city’s workers, crime, and the circumstances that led to the horrendous violence that catapulted Juárez to the top rung of the world’s most violent urban areas in the early twenty-first century.
In countless ways, the history of Juárez is the history of the entire Mexican northern frontier. Understanding how the city evolved provides a greater appreciation for the formidable challenges faced by Mexican fronterizos and yields vital insights into the functioning of borderland regions around the world.