- Shopping Bag ( 0 items )
Raúl H. Castro was the first Hispanic governor of Arizona, ambassador to El Salvador, Bolivia, and Argentina, lawyer, judge, and teacher. Born in Mexico in 1916, he moved with his family to a small mining community in Arizona in 1926. His earliest memories include collecting cactus fruit in the desert for food. His childhood served as a metaphor for Mexican and American attitudes of mutual suspicion and distrust. Castro, nevertheless, defied the odds and, thanks to an athletic scholarship, entered Arizona State Teachers College where he graduated in 1939. By then an American citizen, he worked for the U.S. State Department as a foreign service officer at Agua Prieta, Sonora and then entered the University of Arizona College of Law. He was admitted to the Arizona bar in 1949. After practicing law in Tucson for several years, he became deputy Pima County attorney. In 1954, he was elected county attorney and served until 1958, when he became a Pima County Superior Court Judge. President Lyndon Johnson appointed Castro U.S. ambassador to Salvador in 1964 and to Bolivia in 1969. Castro was elected governor on the Democratic Party ticket in 1974 but an appointment as ambassador to Argentina interrupted his term. Raul Castro's story suggests much about the human spirit, the ability to overcome institutional and personal prejudice, and the hope inherent in the American dream.
"I honestly believe this man''s story should be read by any thinking person in the country. That might seem a bit strong, but this manuscript seems so relevant and interesting that I feel strongly about it." -- Joseph Stout, author of Schemers and Dreamers: Filibustering in Mexico, 1948-1921 and Border Conflict: Villistas, Carrancistas and the Punitive Expedition, 1915-1920.
This is not the autobiography of Fidel's brother—Raul Castro Ruz—but of the former diplomat and governor of Arizona. It would be easy to dismiss this brief work—Castro's short term as Arizona governor was uneventful—but it would be a mistake. Castro was born in Mexico in 1916; his family moved to Arizona when he was ten, and he became a U.S. citizen in 1939. Graduating from Northern Arizona University at the height of the Depression, he survived as a boxer, hobo, and picker before beginning a career as a lawyer, diplomat, and teacher. He was elected governor of Arizona in 1974, having previously served as an ambassador to El Salvador and then Bolivia in the LBJ and Nixon administrations, and he later served as ambassador to Argentina. VERDICT Role model Castro's story is one of hardship and perseverance, his commentary on discrimination against Mexicans and Mexican Americans insightful, and his courage to achieve admirable. This book is important not only to Arizona but to U.S. history and will be especially appreciated by anyone interested in the recent history of the Southwest.—Boyd Childress, Auburn Univ. Lib., AL