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Pamela ConstableDespite its unappealing title, Gregory Rodriguez's Mongrels, Bastards, Orphans, and Vagabonds provides a fascinating excursion through the history of Mexican immigrants in the United States. Full of instructive revelations and forgotten facts, the book shows how the treatment and status of immigrants have always been hostage to the vicissitudes of history—from the Gold Rush to the invasion of Iraq. The best sections of this book by a Mexican American columnist for the Los Angeles Times cover events that occurred long ago. But by putting the current tensions in a solid historical context, Rodriguez offers hope that they too will eventually subside and be followed by a cooler spell in which a lasting, more rational solution can prevail over the politics of fear and bigotry.
—The Washington Post