Henry B. Gonzalez: Congressman of the People

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Editorial Reviews

Children's Literature
During his thirty-seven years in the U.S. House of Representatives, Henry B. Gonzalez was a voice for the poor and downtrodden. He worked hard to make the United States a place where people were treated fairly, regardless of their skin color or the size of their bank accounts. He was the son of refugees from the Mexican Revolution and became the first Mexican-American to serve in the state senate since the earliest days of Texas statehood. His long career took him from racial segregation in the southern sates in the 1950s to following John F. Kennedy to Washington, D.C. as a congressman. Always taking action against racism through nonviolent means, he support the Civil Rights Act and an end to discrimination. He worked with President Johnson on the Model Cities program in the 1960s that aimed to solve the problem of poverty in America. He called for the impeachment of President Bush for his part in Iraqgate, for president Reagan after he sent U.S. troops onto the island nation of Grenada, and for Clinton for lying under oath. Gonzalez's career in Congress made him one of Washington's most familiar faces. There is a huge amount of historical material here with many illustrations, photographs, time lines and book/web sources. The glossary will help with unfamiliar words. It is a very comprehensive biography and is a beautiful book for any age. 2006, Compass Point Books, Ages 12 to 16.
—Naomi Butler
VOYA
The oSignature Lives: Modern Americao series contains biographies of eight Americans who distinguished themselves as leaders and reformers during the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. Some figures will be familiar to young readers, including Douglas MacArthur, Eleanor Roosevelt, and Elizabeth Cady Stanton, whereas others likely will be new names (Carrie Chapman Catt, Henry B. Gonzalez, J. Edgar Hoover, and Langston Hughes). Period illustrations and photographs complement the text nicely, as do insets that provide background on historical and political issues of the time. Each volume includes a time line of key biographical information along with an Internet address where readers can find more by entering each book's ID number and retrieving links to educational sites. Henry B. Gonzalez, the son of Mexican refugees, began his career in 1953 as a councilman in San Antonio, after which he served in Congress from 1961 to 1998. Often using his own words, the book recounts what it was like for Gonzalez to grow up in the face of racism and how those injustices shaped his thinking as a legislator. The clear, thoughtful prose will appeal to readers with an interest in mid- to late-twentieth Century United States history and the United States Congress. The information in this series is appropriate for a variety of ages, but the tone and simplified writing style make the books suitable for middle school readers. Most titles address issues that are still relevant today, such as immigration, racism, civil rights, poverty, and fair housing. Sophisticated readers will find that the Hoover biography also poses serious questions about governmental authority, including the role of the FBI in afree society, the right to privacy, and the freedoms of speech and assembly. Schools and libraries that serve middle school populations will appreciate this series, which includes portraits of Franklin Delano Roosevelt and Wilma Mankiller, among others. (Signature Lives: Modern America). VOYA CODES: 3Q 3P M (Readable without serious defects; Will appeal with pushing; Middle School, defined as grades 6 to 8). 2006, Compass Point Books, 112p.; Index. Illus. Photos. Biblio. Source Notes., PLB . Ages 11 to 14.
—Christina Fairman
School Library Journal
Gr 6-9-Gonzalez served for 37 years in the U.S. House of Representatives. During that time, he fought against segregation and discrimination. He was a voice for the poor and for new immigrants. Haugen does a masterful job of describing his childhood and the influences that shaped his future life in politics. The writing is energetic and lively, keeping readers engaged. Numerous quotes and excerpts appear throughout, and well-chosen illustrations enhance the text. A solid choice for biography collections.-Melissa Christy Buron, Epps Island Elementary, Houston, TX Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780756518585
  • Publisher: Capstone Press
  • Publication date: 9/1/2005
  • Series: Signature Lives: Modern America Series
  • Pages: 112
  • Age range: 10 - 14 Years
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 8.90 (h) x 0.50 (d)

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