Latinos: A Biography of the People

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Overview

"Brilliant.... A loving and detailed celebration of a diverse, beautiful and often astounding people."—Laurence Gonzales, Chicago Tribune

They are sometimes called the people who died twice, once at the hands of the Spaniards and their brutal process of civilization, then at the hands of Anglos, practicing a subtler exploitation. They are Latinos, the fastest-growing minority in the United States. Earl Shorris's deeply moving narrative—enlivened by biographical sketches of ...

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Overview

"Brilliant.... A loving and detailed celebration of a diverse, beautiful and often astounding people."—Laurence Gonzales, Chicago Tribune

They are sometimes called the people who died twice, once at the hands of the Spaniards and their brutal process of civilization, then at the hands of Anglos, practicing a subtler exploitation. They are Latinos, the fastest-growing minority in the United States. Earl Shorris's deeply moving narrative—enlivened by biographical sketches of Mexican Americans, Cuban Americans, Puerto Ricans, and many others struggling with the burden of a rich and terrible history—illuminates every aspect of the Latino experience in America, from language to education to social and political organization. "[A] powerful, beautifully-written and thoughtful book...likely to remain unequaled in its sweep and profundity for some time to come."—J. Jorge Klor de Alva, The New York Times Book Review "A smart, perceptive and wonderfully readable book.... Should be required reading for anyone who would hope to understand America."—Gerald Volgenau, Boston Globe

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Editorial Reviews

Laurence Gonzales
Brilliant.... A loving and detailed celebration of a diverse, beautiful and often astounding people. —Chicago Tribune
J. Jorge Klor de Alva
[A] powerful, beautifully-written and thoughtful book...likely to remain unequaled in its sweep and profundity for some time to come. —New York Times Book Review
Gerald Volgenau
A smart, perceptive and wonderfully readable book.... Should be required reading for anyone who would hope to understand America. —Boston Globe
Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Latinos in the U.S., as Shorris defines them, are a complex of people of varied ancestry--Mexicans, Cubans, Puerto Ricans, Dominicans, Salvadoreans, for example--``in danger of becoming the largest insignificant minority in American history.'' Moving from the barrios of New York City's Spanish Harlem and East Los Angeles to Miami's Cuban community to Southern farms on which migrant workers endure abominable, Third World conditions to El Paso where Hispanics have launched an assault on the bastions of Anglo economic power, Shorris gives eloquent voice and texture to Latino dreams, history, culture and aspirations . His montage of social analysis, reportage, folkways and oral history is a magnificent portrait of diverse people struggling against stereotyping, racism, exploitation and the racismo which causes one Latino group to demean another. A contributing editor of Harper's , himself married to a Latina, Shorris Power Sits at Another Table gauges the relentless pressure on Latinos to conform and their resistance to the melting pot. He looks at upwardly mobile professionals, entrepreneurs, exploiters and civil servants; activists and politicians attempting to ``draw their people out of the refuge of metaphysics and family''; gang members in revolt and workers earning 18 cents per hour. He assesses innovative bilingual education programs, traces the Latino influence on American English, cuisine, films and music, and charts the brutal daily war between immigration agents and illegal border-crossers, a war that leaves hundreds of nameless corpses each year. Exploring the widening rift between the Roman Catholic Church and the Latino community, Shorris visits a curandero healer and delves into Mexican American Santeria, a spiritistic folk religion. He incisively critiques contemporary Latino writers and painters, and profiles such figures as Cesar Chavez, Paul Rodriguez, Roberto Clemente, exiled Cuban poet Jorge Valls and Jaime Inclan, director of a family therapy clinic on Manhattan's Lower East Side. A definitive, energizing, brilliantly searching group portrait. QPB main selection; BOMC selection; $75,000 paperback floor; author tour. Oct. .
Library Journal
Using an oral storytelling style and chapter vignettes, Shorris attempts to cover the history and the current condition of all the North American Latinos, who are identified as descendants of the Spanish conquest of the New World. Beginning with Columbus's subjugation of the native populations in the West Indies, Shorris, a contributing editor of Harper's magazine, recounts the struggle of the Latino people Mexican Americans, Puerto Ricans, Cuban Americans, etc. against Anglo racism, language barriers, and economic and political discrimination. He also offers an unflinching look at the condition of Latinos in Los Angeles, Miami, and New York. Shorris's meandering style makes his book a difficult tool to use academically, however, and the abundance of detail at times overwhelms his message. Still, this is a worthy purchase for urban libraries or any library serving any size Latino population.-- Sharon Roman, Carroll Cty. P.L., Westminster, Md.
Kirkus Reviews
Personal, impassioned overview of the fastest growing minority in the US. Shorris, a social critic (Jews Without Mercy, 1982, etc.) and novelist (Under the Fifth Sun, 1980, etc.), concentrates on Mexican-Americans, Puerto Ricans, and Cuban-Americans, mixing facts, observation, history, analysis, love, and outrage. Shorris (who grew up in a mostly Mexican-American El Paso neighborhood, married a Latina, and acknowledges his personal and political liberal bias) admits that the very term "Latino" is problematic, blurring racial, cultural, and historical diversity. To overcome this inherent difficulty, he tends to focus on individual lives and also occasionally, perhaps necessarily, to bog down in qualifiers and sensitivity. The result is a book that sometimes stumbles but that scores high for impact, scope, and heart: Shorris celebrates Latino achievements; visits sweatshops (where some workers earn 18› an hour), classrooms, illegal border- crossings, and detention camps; undermines stereotypes (e.g., by portraying Cubans who are neither right-wingers nor criminals); critiques earlier influential analyses that focused on the so- called "culture of poverty"; and provides a new schematic framework for understanding the Latino as immigrant. While he blames both minority and majority societies, as well as random historical factors, for why Latinos have achieved little political and economic power here, Shorris offers an account of the effects of colonialism on Puerto Ricans and of the brutal oppression of Mexican-Americans that has eye-opening power: The systematic exploitation of Latinos—centuries-old and still thriving—has rarely been so thoroughly discussed in a majorforum. Wide-ranging, groundbreaking, opinionated, and very important.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780393321906
  • Publisher: Norton, W. W. & Company, Inc.
  • Publication date: 8/28/2001
  • Edition description: Reprint
  • Pages: 540
  • Product dimensions: 5.50 (w) x 8.50 (h) x 1.20 (d)

Meet the Author

Earl Shorris (1936–2012) is the author of many works of both fiction and non-fiction including Latinos, Under the Fifth Sun, In the Language of Kings, and Riches for the Poor. He was awarded a National Humanities Medal by President Clinton for his founding of the Clemente Course in the Humanities®, Inc.

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Table of Contents

The Plan of the Book
The Name of the People
1 Introduction: Ruben, Bienvenida, and James 3
2 Welcome to the Old World 14
3 The Second Conquest 27
4 Christopher Columbus at the Taco Bell 44
5 Fulano De Cuba 62
6 Mengano De Puerto Rico 77
7 Zutano De Mexico 95
8 Time's Fate 111
9 Shakespeare, Cervantes, & Co. 118
10 True Revolution 121
11 Racism and Racismo 146
12 Late Entry, Early Exit 172
13 In Search of Ordinariness 184
14 The Wall 213
15 Latinos for Sale 229
16 Shoebox Business 244
17 The Round of Refuge 259
18 The War of the Orphans 280
19 The Country Mouse and the City Mouse 298
20 The Corporate Fox and the Entrepreneurial Fox 315
21 Corridos 341
22 Christ, Quetzalcoatl, Santa Barbara, and That Old Time Religion 362
23 Neither Here Nor There 381
24 An Experiment in Democracy 406
25 For Want of a Famous Death 430
26 Espiritismo: Conversations With Ernesto 439
27 Epilogue: Testimonios 445
Acknowledgments 479
Brief Bibliography 481
Glossary of Words, Phrases, and Acronyms 491
Index 497
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Customer Reviews

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 19, 2014

    Chick

    K thanx

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    Posted April 19, 2014

    Jade

    I breathe heavier. Oh I moan leaning into you for support. I made it go further in my lips brushing yours but never kissing.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 17, 2014

    Alex

    What

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    Posted April 17, 2014

    Tommy

    Wks in

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    Posted April 19, 2014

    Kevin

    Yeah baby your puzzy so tight and wet i moan thrusting into you

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    Posted April 17, 2014

    Julian

    If came for slav four

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 19, 2014

    Seller

    Of course... jeremy is in res. 2 and sebastion in res. 4

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    Posted April 17, 2014

    Kaylee

    Ally is just gross. Heyo Kev.

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