Murder at the Sleepy Lagoon: Zoot Suits, Race, and Riot in Wartime L.A.

Eduardo Obregón Pagán

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Murder at the Sleepy Lagoon: Zoot Suits, Race, and Riot in Wartime L.A.

Murder at the Sleepy Lagoon Zoot Suits Race and Riot in Wartime L A The notorious Sleepy Lagoon murder trial in Los Angeles concluded with the conviction of seventeen young Mexican American men for the alleged gang slaying of fellow youth Jose Diaz Just five mont

  • Title: Murder at the Sleepy Lagoon: Zoot Suits, Race, and Riot in Wartime L.A.
  • Author: Eduardo Obregón Pagán
  • ISBN: 9780807854945
  • Page: 319
  • Format: Paperback
  • The notorious 1942 Sleepy Lagoon murder trial in Los Angeles concluded with the conviction of seventeen young Mexican American men for the alleged gang slaying of fellow youth Jose Diaz Just five months later, the so called Zoot Suit Riot erupted, as white soldiers in the city attacked minority youths and burned their distinctive zoot suits Eduardo Obregon Pagan here pThe notorious 1942 Sleepy Lagoon murder trial in Los Angeles concluded with the conviction of seventeen young Mexican American men for the alleged gang slaying of fellow youth Jose Diaz Just five months later, the so called Zoot Suit Riot erupted, as white soldiers in the city attacked minority youths and burned their distinctive zoot suits Eduardo Obregon Pagan here provides the first comprehensive social history of both the trial and the riot and argues that they resulted from a volatile mix of racial and social tensions that had long been simmering.In reconstructing the lives of the murder victim and those accused of the crime, Pagan contends that neither the convictions which were based on little hard evidence nor the ensuing riot arose simply from anti Mexican sentiment He demonstrates instead that a variety of pre existing stresses, including demographic pressures, anxiety about nascent youth culture, and the war effort all contributed to the social tension and the eruption of violence Moreover, he recovers a multidimensional picture of Los Angeles during World War II that incorporates the complex intersections of music, fashion, violence, race relations, and neighborhood activism Drawing upon overlooked evidence, Pagan concludes by reconstructing the murder scene and proposes a compelling theory about what really happened the night of the murder.

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      Posted by:Eduardo Obregón Pagán
      Published :2018-09-23T13:38:24+00:00

    One thought on “Murder at the Sleepy Lagoon: Zoot Suits, Race, and Riot in Wartime L.A.

    1. Kim Fay on said:

      For most people who live in L.A the Zoot Suit riots are legendary. But what I discovered from reading this book is that what many know about this episode in history (at least in my experience) is myth, not fact. The reason for this, I assume, is that the facts are so complex. And it is the complexities that make this book worth reading. The main goal of author Pagan seems to be to put the riots, and the events leading up to them, in context. Sometimes, the context got a little too detailed and a [...]

    2. Fishface on said:

      A really unusual read. Re-examines the unsolved case of Jose Diaz's murder at the Sleepy Lagoon in 1942, and places it in its larger context of national anxiety about the Axis powers, the looming Communist threat, white supremacist thinking, and the youthful hijinks in America's own back yards. As much a sociological analysis as it is a true-crime story, Pagan helps the reader make sense of the bizarre Zoot Suit Riots that broke out a few months after Diaz died. He even does a better than averag [...]

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