Born in Madera, California, Alex M. Saragoza spent much of his youth laboring side-by-side with his Mexican immigrant, farm-working parents. He has published widely on the interface between Mexico and the United States, including work on Mexican immigration. Most recently, he is a coeditor of Mexico Today: An Encyclopedia of Life in the Republic, Volume 1 (2010) and the forthcoming book, "Recent Chicano Historiography: Advances, Shortcomings, and Challenges." He is currently a professor emeritus of history in the ethnic studies department at the University of California, Berkeley, where he is also an affiliate faculty in the American studies program. At the university he has also served as the chair of the Center for Latin American Studies and of the ethnic studies department, and as the faculty coordinator of the Chicano/Latino studies program. In 2012 he was a visiting professor at the University of Paris III (Sorbonne nouvelle), and he has lectured at various universities in the United States and Europe. Most recently, he received the 2017 Excellence in Teaching Award from the his university's Osher Lifelong Learning Institute.
This lecture examines the history of Mexicans in the U.S. in light of the conditions in Mexico that have induced migration to the U.S. since the turn of the 20th century. In this regard, the lecture provides the specific Mexican policies that contributed to the sources of migration northward as well as the regional origins of immigrants and their significance. In addition, the lecture takes into account the presence of Mexican popular culture and its development in the U.S., given the presence of Mexican film, recordings, and Spanish-language radio north of the border.