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Conflict and Commerce on the Rio GrandeConflict and Commerce on the Rio Grande

Laredo, 1775-1955

John A. Adams


Book published by Texas A&M University Press


Laredo is a city at the crossroads of North American history. Founded by the Spanish in 1755, it has stood at the intersection of regional commerce since its earliest days. Now, John A. Adams, Jr. provides the first-ever panoramic business and economic history of Laredo. He traces the evolution of the region from its early days as a ranching center into the mid-twentieth century, when Laredo had become what it remains today: a booming port of trade and a principal center of commerce and financial services on the southern border of the United States.

In Commerce and Conflict on the Rio Grande Adams demonstrates how the increasingly diversified economy of the region fed the fortunes of the city. His narrative, buttressed throughout by tables and statistics, paints a vivid mural of both the economic forces and the farsighted and ambitious individuals that combined to bring prosperity to this unique American city. Readers will find a wealth of insights into regional economics, history, and borderlands themes.

John A. Adams is author of If Mahan Ran the Great Pacific War.

REVIEWS:

“One of the ironies of the historiography on Laredo is that almost all of it concerns itself with the period prior to 1900. Laredo: Commerce and Conflict on the Rio Grande, 1755-1955 attempts to breach this standing blockage, and forges ahead into the middle of the twentieth-century. Credit its author, John A. Adams, for staking a place in this promising direction. The book presents a broad chronological overview as it discusses a wide ranging set of subjects. The book renders a business history of Laredo, and in this respect it is related to the historiography of an earlier era. Adams does provide a steady narrative of the particular greatness achieved by one certain Texas urban center—Laredo—that has the second longest existence as a continuously settled community in the state. He is attempting to give the residents of a city where he lived and worked for a good many years a business history of their city upon the 250th anniversary of its founding. This objective deserves our praise and as presented is fully met.”

—Roberto R. Calderon, University of North Texas

“His narrative... paints a vivid mural of both the economic forces and the far-sighted and ambitious individuals that combined to bring prosperity to this unique American city... "it skillfully synthesizes existing knowledge on the subject and makes known new narrative detail in great abundance.”

Laredo Morning Times

“One of the ironies of the historiography on Laredo is that almost all of it concerns itself with the period prior to 1900. Laredo: Commerce and Conflict on the Rio Grande, 1755-1955 attempts to breach this standing blockage, and forges ahead into the middle of the twentieth-century. Credit its author, John A. Adams, for staking a place in this promising direction. The book presents a broad chronological overview as it discusses a wide ranging set of subjects. The book renders a business history of Laredo, and in this respect it is related to the historiography of an earlier era. Adams does provide a steady narrative of the particular greatness achieved by one certain Texas urban center—Laredo—that has the second longest existence as a continuously settled community in the state. He is attempting to give the residents of a city where he lived and worked for a good many years a business history of their city upon the 250th anniversary of its founding. This objective deserves our praise and as presented is fully met.”

—Roberto R. Calderon, University of North Texas

“This well researched survey of Laredo's economic history will be of interest to local historians and to scholars studying commercial relations between Mexico and the United States. The book is an excellent case study demonstrating the relationship of local growth to national and international policies. Adams is to be complimented for this useful survey of Laredo's economic history.”

—James McLaird, Emeritus, Dakota Wesleyan University, Western Historical Quarterly





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