America Libre
  • America Libre
  • America Libre

America Libre

4.5 8
by Raul Ramos y Sanchez
     
 

How will today's immigration crisis shape our nation? This provocative novel set in the second decade of the 21st century poses a chillingly credible nightmare vision . . . a Hispanic liberation movement seeking to redraw the borders of the United States.

After years of anti-immigrant backlash, anger seethes in the nation's teeming barrios. The crowded streets

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Overview

How will today's immigration crisis shape our nation? This provocative novel set in the second decade of the 21st century poses a chillingly credible nightmare vision . . . a Hispanic liberation movement seeking to redraw the borders of the United States.

After years of anti-immigrant backlash, anger seethes in the nation's teeming barrios. The crowded streets bristle with restless youth idled by a deep recession. When undercover detectives in San Antonio accidentally kill a young Latina bystander during a botched drug bust, riots erupt across the Southwest. As the inner-city violence escalates, Anglo vigilantes strike back with barrio shooting rampages. Exploiting the turmoil, a congressional demagogue succeeds in passing legislation that transforms the nation's Hispanic enclaves into walled-off Quarantine Zones. Amid the chaos in his L.A. barrio, Manolo Suarez is out of work and struggling to support his growing family. Under the spell of a beautiful Latina radical, the former U.S. Army Ranger eventually finds himself questioning his loyalty to his wife-and his country.

Fast-paced and action-packed, America Libre is a wake-up call to the dangers of extremism - on both sides of this explosive issue.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly

Sanchez's debut is a sweeping, intense novel of extremism, fear and consequences. In Los Angeles in the near future, tensions run high between Hispanics and Anglos, especially after the death of an innocent Latina bystander in Texas sparks nationwide riots. In need of a job, ex-Army Ranger Manolo "Mano" Suaraz joins La Defensa del Pueblo, started by wealthy Ramon Garcia to foster Hispanic unity in the face of Anglo violence. Despite his wife's growing reservations, Mano and the group are able to turn Hispanic gangs into allies against a common enemy. As violence and fear escalate-and are manipulated-"Quarantine Zones" and camps are created to segregate Hispanics from the general population. Mano, who dedicated his life to patriotism, sees his own country turn on him because of his heritage, disregarding his value as an individual. Originally self-published, Ramos y Sanchez's ambitious, cautionary tale poses questions without easy answers, but its flaw, ironically, is the lack of diversity, with all the characters being either Hispanic or Anglo. (July)

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Kirkus Reviews
Cautionary debut novel imagines a chain of events in the Latin American community that causes one man to go to extreme measures to protect his family. In El Paso, Texas, police shoot a young Latina in the streets, prompting riots throughout the community. The National Guard is called in and, fearing attack, they open fire on a crowd, killing 23 and inciting a dangerous backlash in Latino communities across the country. In Los Angeles, Mano Suarez is trying to ignore the chaos outside his home while he looks for a job. He is a decorated veteran and a trained mechanic, but the deep recession has made it impossible for him to find work and provide for his family. Mano happens on a bookstore that claims to be a front for a recycling company, and the owner, feisty Uruguayan-born, Stanford-educated Jo Herrera, offers him a job driving for her. He soon finds out that the recycling company is also a front, for a radical Hispanic liberation group; Mano has been hired not as a driver, but as a bodyguard. A self-proclaimed apolitical patriot, he's wary of the job. But his family needs the money, and as he spends more time with Jo and her followers, he comes to realize that they need the protection. Suddenly, Mano is working until the middle of the night; his kids are running wild; and his beloved wife doesn't understand what he's doing-particularly not with a beautiful, blonde boss like Jo. As Mano becomes further entrenched in the movement, he has to decide what is helping the community, and what is doing more harm. Regrettably, these interesting issues are stuck in a narrative that reads like a parable more than a novel, with hollow characters playing out circumstances orchestrated to make apolitical point. The message is good, but the writing is not. Agent: Sally van Haitsma/The Castiglia Agency

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780595426065
Publisher:
iUniverse, Incorporated
Publication date:
02/28/2007
Pages:
365
Product dimensions:
5.50(w) x 8.50(h) x 0.84(d)

What People are saying about this

Edward J. Mullen
"America Libre is a story of what we all struggle with when we decide where we stand on the issue of immigration."--(Professor Edward J. Mullen, University of Missouri-Columbia)
Torre,De,La,Miguel
"Ramos's scenario of U.S. Hispanics taking up arms to fight for their dignity gives us Manolo Suarez, an honorable man whose radical conversion provides insights into the hopes and disappointments of the U.S. Latino experience."--(Miguel De La Torre, Ph.D. - Director of the Justice and Peace Institute, Iliff School of Theology)

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