Barrio Boy: Theology / Edition 1

Barrio Boy: Theology / Edition 1

4.5 2
by Ernesto Galarza

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ISBN-10: 0268004412

ISBN-13: 9780268004415

Pub. Date: 08/28/1991

Publisher: University of Notre Dame Press

About the Book  

Since it was first published in 1971, Galarza's classic work has been assigned in high school and undergraduate classrooms across the country, profoundly affecting thousands of students who read this true story of acculturation into American life.

To celebrate the 40th anniversary of the publication of


About the Book  

Since it was first published in 1971, Galarza's classic work has been assigned in high school and undergraduate classrooms across the country, profoundly affecting thousands of students who read this true story of acculturation into American life.

To celebrate the 40th anniversary of the publication of Barrio Boy, the University of Notre Dame Press is proud to reissue this best-selling book with a new text design and cover, as well an introduction—by Ilan Stavans, the distinguished cultural critic and editor of the Norton Anthology of Latino Literature—which places Ernesto Galarza and Barrio Boy in historical context.

About the Author

Ernesto Galarza (1905-1984) was a labor organizer, historian, professor, and community activist. When he was eight, he migrated from Jalcocotan, Nayarit, Mexico, to Sacramento, California, where he worked as a farm laborer. He received a Ph.D. in history from Columbia University. In addition to Barrio Boy, he is the author of a number of books, including Strangers in Our Fields (1956), Merchants of Labor (1964), and Spiders in the House and Workers in the Fields (1970). In 1979, Dr. Galarza was nominated for the Nobel Prize in Literature.

"Unlike people who are born in hospitals, in an ambulance, or in a taxicab I showed up in an adobe cottage with a thatched roof that stood at one end of the only street of Jalcocotan, which everybody called Jalco for short. Like many other small villages in the wild, majestic mountains of the Sierra Madre de Nayarit, my pueblo was a hideaway. Even though you lived there, arriving in Jalco was always a surprise." —from Chapter 1

Reviews of the original edition:

". . . An illuminating record of the forebodings of ordinary rural Mexicans at the beginning of the revolution." — The New York Review of Books

"With its suspense, humor, and occasional sadness, Barrio Boy is splendid reading." — American Anthropologist

"Galarza's proud and moving book is a testament to who he is, where he came from, and to the country which received him and in which he has devoted his life fighting for both la justicia and justice." — Social Education Journal 

Barrio Boy is the remarkable story of one boy's journey from a Mexican village so small its main street didn't have a name, to the barrio of Sacramento, California, bustling and thriving in the early decades of the twentieth century. With vivid imagery and a rare gift for re-creating a child's sense of time and place, Ernesto Galarza gives an account of the early experiences of his extraordinary life—from revolution in Mexico to segregation in the United States—that will continue to delight readers for generations to come.


Product Details

University of Notre Dame Press
Publication date:
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5.52(w) x 8.52(h) x 0.71(d)
1140L (what's this?)

Table of Contents

Table of Contents

Introduction to the 40th Anniversary Edition by Ilan Stavans

PART ONE: In a Mountain Village

PART TWO: Peregrinations

PART THREE: North From Mexico

PART FOUR: Life in the Lower Part of Town

PART FIVE: On the Edge of the Barrio



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Barrio Boy: Theology 4.7 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 3 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Guest More than 1 year ago
Not being from Latin American culture, I found this book to be very enlightening about what life is like for people living in Latin America, and how difficult it is to adjust to U.S. culture. The book details the life of the author, Ernesto Galarza and his family, as they go through various stages of their life. The story begins in the small mountain village of Jalcocotán, Mexico where Ernesto, his mother, his father, and his aunt Ester and uncle Gustavo lead a fairly simple life. Ernesto yearns to work in the fields like his father and brother. This continues until Revolutionaries invade the town. Ernesto and his family flee to the nearby city of Tepic. After that, his father finds work in another city, Mazatlán. In Mazatlán, Ernesto joins a gang and makes a great deal of friends. One of the most memorable parts of this section of the book is when Ernesto's first grade class has a mock Battle of Puebla to celebrate Cinco de Mayo. Not long after this, revolutionaries invade the city. Ernesto and his family leave the city soon after to escape the turmoil of the revolution. They then head for Sacramento, California to have a new life and live out the American dream. At first, Ernesto finds the American people loud and obnoxious, but learns to like them as he grows more accustomed to the culture. An example of this is on page 205 when Ernesto is describing the typical American. 'In more personal ways we had to get used to the Americans. They did not listen if you did not speak loudly, as they always did. In the Mexican style, people would know that you were enjoying their jokes tremendously if you merely smiled and shook a little, as if you were trying to swallow your mirth. In the American style there was little difference between a laugh and a roar, and until you got used to them you could hardly tell whether the boisterous Americans were roaring mad or roaring happy'. Ernesto takes up various jobs to help support his family, such as being a bell hop at the apartment that his family lived at. Also, at school, Ernesto shows a great affinity for speaking. Ernesto knows this and uses this to be a translator. In the final section of the book, Ernesto and his family get very sick and his uncle, Gustavo dies. After he gets better, he is determined to do the best he can in life by doing the thing that he does best, speaking. This book is boring at some parts, but those parts are few and far between. This book portrays a very vivid and detailed picture of Ernesto's life. Galarza has written a very good book that I would certainly recommend to anyone wanting to learn more about Latin American history and culture.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I read this book and was glad to see that there are latinos out there who tell it how it is and tell other cultures what being mexican is really like or was. I am proud to recognize this authors use of words and his way of telling his readers how hard it is for latinos to get the respect they need, after not knowing everything they did to reach the U.S. I was touched by this book and am proud of the author.