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Publisher Description

Maidin Iron is the true story of the first woman to work as a union ironworker in New Mexico in the 1970s and 1980s. Ana Padilla tells of her struggle and ultimate success in breaking into this male-dominated trade, confronting union bosses, supervisors, and coworkers. Many thought that a woman couldnt handle the tough and dangerous job of being an ironworker, welding and bolting steel frames of multistory buildings. One false step could lead to sudden death. This scrappy young woman used humor, courage, good manners, and a strong work ethic to make her case that she could do everything just as well as her male coworkers. Although small of stature, she proved herself over and over again, on one job site after another, hauling equipment and working many stories in the air on steel girders, expecting no special treatment while facing harsh weather and dangers. Padilla conveys her Hispanic roots in New Mexico and the sense of a place and time when people held onto views of women that now seem outdated and sexist. She does this without bitterness. The reader meets other men and womenHispanic, Anglo, Native American, and African American, many from New Mexico, some from elsewherewho rolled up their sleeves, faced the challenges at each work site, and got the job done. We get a vivid feel for their personalities and of what it was like to work with them. We learn about the ironworkers trade and also of how Padilla reinvented herself after a first marriage that was less than happy, found the man of her dreams, married him, and built a life with him that has lasted to this day. This is an inspiring tale that conveys the value of time-tested virtues of hard work, courage, and persistence in the face of adversity.

Biographies & Memoirs
April 24