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Book Cover for: William Hanson and the Texas-Mexico Border: Violence, Corruption, and the Making of the Gatekeeper State, John Weber

William Hanson and the Texas-Mexico Border: Violence, Corruption, and the Making of the Gatekeeper State

John Weber

An examination of the career of Texas Ranger and immigration official William Hanson illustrating the intersections of corruption, state-building, and racial violence in early twentieth century Texas.

At the Texas-Mexico border in the 1910s and 1920s, William Hanson was a witness to, and an active agent of, history. As a Texas Ranger captain and then a top official in the Immigration Service, he helped shape how US policymakers understood the border, its residents, and the movement of goods and people across the international boundary. An associate of powerful politicians and oil company executives, he also used his positions to further his and his patrons' personal interests, financial and political, often through threats and extralegal methods.

Hanson's career illustrates the ways in which legal exclusion, white-supremacist violence, and official corruption overlapped and were essential building blocks of a growing state presence along the border in the early twentieth century. In this book, John Weber reveals Hanson's cynical efforts to use state and federal power to proclaim the border region inherently dangerous and traces the origins of current nativist politics that seek to demonize the border population. In doing so, he provides insight into how a minor political appointee, motivated by his own ambitions, had lasting impacts on how the border was experienced by immigrants and seen by the nation.

Book Details

  • Publisher: University of Texas Press
  • Publish Date: May 14th, 2024
  • Pages: 256
  • Language: English
  • Dimensions: 0.00in - 0.00in - 0.00in - 0.00lb
  • EAN: 9781477329221
  • Categories: United States - State & Local - Southwest (AZ, NM, OK, TX)Latin America - MexicoGeneral

About the Author

John Weber is an associate professor of history at Old Dominion University in Norfolk, Virginia, and the author of From South Texas to the Nation: The Exploitation of Mexican Labor in the Twentieth Century.

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