No Borders: A Journalist's Search for Home [NOOK Book]

Overview

From his childhood days in Mexico, to his experience of censorship in government–owned Mexican media companies, his student years in LA, and his early beginnings as a journalist in the USA, Ramos gives us a personal and touching account of his life.

With a series of intimate portraits of the leading political figures he has interviewed over the years (Castro, George W. Bush, Chavez, Clinton) and the places he has been, he reflects on world ...

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No Borders: A Journalist's Search for Home

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Overview

From his childhood days in Mexico, to his experience of censorship in government–owned Mexican media companies, his student years in LA, and his early beginnings as a journalist in the USA, Ramos gives us a personal and touching account of his life.

With a series of intimate portraits of the leading political figures he has interviewed over the years (Castro, George W. Bush, Chavez, Clinton) and the places he has been, he reflects on world events and how they have changed, not only humanity, but his own life.

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Editorial Reviews

From Barnes & Noble
The author of The Other Face of America examines his life as a border-crosser, from his childhood in Mexico through his self-transformation into an Emmy Award–winning journalist. His word portraits and personal reflections on American presidents and Latin American leaders demonstrate that Ramos is not just a news gatherer or a talking head.
The New York Times
No Borders blends personal memoir, political commentary and greatest-hits selections from Ramos’s war coverage — El Salvador, Persian Gulf, Kosovo — and his interviews with Latin American leaders like the Colombian president, Ernesto Samper, Venezuela’s Hugo Chávez and Nicaragua’s Daniel Ortega. The most successful portions of the book, well translated from the Spanish by Patricia J. Duncan, are the personal narrative and reportorial reminiscences. — Shannon Brady Marin
Publishers Weekly
Ramos (The Other Face of America), seven-time Emmy Award-winning news anchor of Noticiero Univision, moved to the U.S. from Mexico when he was 25 and has lived here for 20 years. "What am I," he pointedly asks, "a Latino, a Hispanic, a Latin American immigrant, or a Mexican?" This question resonates throughout his affable memoir, and it turns out to be unanswerable. By the book's end, Ramos is still searching for a place where he does not "feel like a foreigner" or someone who's "just arrived." These efforts to define himself, however, did not distract Ramos from pursuing an enormously successful career. In easygoing prose, he describes his rise to become, at 28, "one of the youngest national anchormen in the history of American television." Claiming not to believe in luck, but rather in preparedness, he tells readers he was chosen for one of his first big assignments (covering the 1981 Reagan assassination attempt) simply because he was the only reporter in the room with English language skills and a ready passport. Speaking from extensive experience, Ramos points out the curious position of Spanish-language journalists in this country: "Most of the United States, of course, does not understand us [Spanish-language journalists]," and "many people do not even know we exist." Yet Univision is America's fifth largest station, and when Ramos and his co-anchor Maria Elena Salinas host the evening news, they attract 10 times the viewing audience of CNN at that time slot. Readers from this large viewing audience will devour Ramos's inspiring immigrant story. Photos not seen by PW. Agent, Bill Adler. (Oct. 15) Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information.
Gregg Barrios
“Informative, up-to-date and intelligent.”
Jeanne Jakle
“A page-turner.”
Mike McDaniel
“A thoughtful and often compelling biography.”
Booklist
“An insightful memoir.”
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780061750816
  • Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
  • Publication date: 3/17/2009
  • Sold by: HARPERCOLLINS
  • Format: eBook
  • Pages: 352
  • File size: 515 KB

Meet the Author

Jorge Ramos

Jorge Ramos has won eight Emmy Awards and the Maria Moors Cabot Award for excellence in journalism. He has been the anchorman for Univision News for the last twenty-one years and has appeared on NBC's Today, CNN's Talk Back Live, ABC's Nightline, CBS's Early Show, and Fox News's The O'Reilly Factor, among others. He is the bestselling author of No Borders: A Journalist's Search for Home and Dying to Cross. He lives in Florida.

Jorge Ramos ha sido el conductor de Noticiero Univision desde 1986. Ha ganado siete premios Emmy y el premio Maria Moors Cabot por excelencia en perio dismo otorgado por la Universidad de Columbia. Además ha sido invitado a varios de los más importantes programas de televisión como Nightline de ABC, Today Show de NBC, Larry King Live de CNN, The O'Reilly Factor de FOX News y Charlie Rose de PBS, entre otros. Es el autor bestseller de Atravesando Fronteras, La Ola Latina, La Otra Cara de América, Lo Que Vi y Morir en el Intento. Actualmente vive en Miami.

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Read an Excerpt

El Capítulo Uno

Quería vivir tan sólo lo que brotaba espontáneamente de mí. ¿Por qué habría de serme tan dificil?
-- Hermann Hesse

El pasado es indestructible.
-- Jorge Luis Borges

"¿Con qué sueñas?" me preguntó el periodista Dennis Farney, quien escribía un largo artículo que saldría, en primera página, en el diario The Wall Street Journal. "Sueño con mi casa," le contesté, "con la casa de México."

El artículo fue publicado antes de las elecciones presidenciales del 2000 y me dió a conocer ante muchos norteamericanos que no hablan español. Pero no incluyó la respuesta sobre mi casa. La política -- no mis sueños -- dominaban en ese entonces al país. Afortunadamente.

Contrario a mis días (llenos de noticias sobre guerras, violencia, asesinatos y golpes de estado), a los viajes constantes y a los estresantes y poco estructurados horarios, mis sueños son casi aburridos. Son como un refugio.

En realidad, esos sueños son una búsqueda desesperada de balance. Para alguien cuya profesión -- el periodismo ¿qué más? -- le impide sabercon certeza, cada mañana, en qué pais va a acabar durmiendo esa misma noche, soñar es escaparse. Un día me levanté en Los Ángeles y terminéacostado sobre las ruinas de una ciudad de México, recién azotada por un terremoto; otro, desperté en Miami y dormité frente a un muro de Berlínque se caía a pedacitos; una mañana pelé el ojo en Madrid y sólo el cansanciome tumbó en una destartalada cama a unos pasos de un Kosovo bombardeado ...

Y por eso, porque vivo sin calma, sin paz interior, frecuentemente me escapo a la casa de México; a ese lugar donde viví la mayor parte de mi infancia y adolescencia y que, todavía, significa estabilidad y tranquilidad. Ese es mi verdadero, mi único hogar.

Sueño que camino, sin prisa, de un lado al otro de esa casa de dos pisos. Subo las escaleras, como flotando, hasta el cuarto que comparto con mi hermano Alejandro y le echo un vistazo a mis dos otros hermanos, Eduardo y Gerardo, que juguetean en su recámara tras un arco que nunca tuvo puerta. Sonrío sin abrir la boca. Oigo a mi hermana Lourdes acomodando sus muñecas sobre una cama alta, blanca y chillona. Salgo de mi cuarto y veo el pequeño baño de mosaicos azules; está abierto, con el lavabo manchado con pasta de dientes y el bote de la ropa sucia, rebosante, a punto de explotar y con la tapa tirada en el piso. La televisión suena alfondo pero nadie la ve. A unos pasos está el cuarto de mis padres con una cama gigantesca cubierta con una colcha verde y dorada. ¡Nunca supe cómo pudieron meter esa cama en el cuarto! Me asomo por la ventana y está el jardín, un poco descuidado pero siempre verde, que riega mi papá cuando regresa del trabajo. Mi mamá está abajo, en la cocina. Al entrar, del lado izquierdo, sobre una enorme barra de acero inoxidable hay cinco vasos en fila de leche con chocomilk. Es la plancha metálica que se trajo mi papá de uno de sus trabajos de construcción. La estufa suelta un humitoblanco, rico, reconfortante. Es la olla express de los frijoles. A un lado se está cocinando la salsa de tomate para el queso guisado y en el centro de la estufa descansan, hinchadas y ulceradas por el aire caliente, un montón de tortillas. Cruzo la cocina, salgo al patio y huelen a limpio las sábanas blancas que cuelgan bajo el sol. Cuando llego a ese punto, casi siempre me despierto. A veces aprieto los ojos, suavecito, para tratar de regresar al sueño. Cuando lo logro me veo jugando futbol con mis hermanos en el jardin o colgado de un pasamanos verde junto a un árbol que nunca dio aguacates. Pero no siempre puedo regresar a mi sueño. No importa; ya estuve en mi casa. Estoy tranquilo. Sé de donde vengo.

Yo soy de esa casa en la calle Hacienda de Piedras Negras # 10, Bosque de Echegaray, Estado de México, teléfono 560-51-20. Puedo olvidar cualquier cosa, pero no esa dirección ni ese teléfono. Si lo olvidara, perdería el centro; no sabría a dónde regresar cuando me pierdo, cuando estoy confundido, cuando el mundo me parece demasiado grande.

Cuando, regreso a México me gusta pasar frente a la casa y verla de lejitos. La última vez todavía tenía una reja verde y un tejado rojo. Pero es curioso que esa misma casa -- localizada a unos pasos de una ruidosa supercarretera y ahogada por la contaminación ambiental, rodeada por una ferretería, un hospital y una farmacia homeopática -- me genere tanta calma interior.

Varias veces he estado a punto de bajarme del auto, tocar el amarillento timbre y pedirle a quien quiera que hoy viva ahí -- mis padres la vendieron para mudarse a un apartamento -- que me deje pasar a ver la casa. Se me antoja, lo reconozco, trepar sobre la reja como cuando era niño y había olvidado la llave de la puerta. Ese movirniento, ese zangoloteo metálico, me recuerda los días en que nada -- ni una reja -- me podia parar.

Cosas terribles pudieron ocurrir en esa casa. Aun recuerdo con lujo de detalle los planes secretos de tirarme desde el techo hasta una imaginaria piscina en el centro del jardín -- al menos cinco metros de caída libre -- y los sueños de colocar muchas chinampinas (en realidad, pequeñas cantidades de pólvora) en las suelas de mis zapatos para poder volar como Batman o Supermán. Pero por falta de unos pesitos no me rompí el cuello ni me quemé los piés.

La verdad, no necesito ver esa casa. La tengo grabada dentro de mí. Ahí viví 20 años. en comparación, durante los siguientes 20 años he vivido en por lo menos 16 casas, apartamentos u hotels; acabo de hacer la cuenta.

Casi todo lo mío tiene su origen, su razón de ser, durante el tiempo que viví en esa casa. Me explico ... y empiezo por lo más sencillo.

Atravesando Fronteras. Copyright © by Jorge Ramos. Reprinted by permission of HarperCollins Publishers, Inc. All rights reserved. Available now wherever books are sold.
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Table of Contents

Quotes VII
Acknowledgments XI
Prologue 1
1 My House
My House 7
The First Opportunity 46
2 The American Experience
Free in Los Angeles 65
The Fight for the News 84
Living with an Accent 103
News of the Reconquest: The Future of Spanish-Language Media in the United States 116
3 Going Global
War and Love 145
Ground Zero 184
An (Inquisitive or Pregunton) Journalist in Latin America 210
4 The Eternal Return
Mexico Me Duele 247
Cuba of the North 268
Gray Hair, Airplanes, Trips and Smells 283
The Eternal Return 296
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First Chapter

Chapter One

My House

I wanted only to try to live in accordance with the promptings that came from my true self Why was that so very difficult?

-- Herman Hesse

The past is indestructible.

-- Jorge Luis Borges

"What do you dream about?" journalist Dennis Farney asked me. "I dream about my house," I replied, "my house in Mexico." Farney's front-page article for the Wall Street Journal was published prior to the 2000 presidential elections, and it introduced me to many non-Spanish-speaking Americans who would otherwise never have heard of me. The article, however, did not include my response about my house. Fortunately, politics -- not my dreams -- dominated the country.

Unlike my days, which are filled with news of wars, violence, assassinations and coup d'états, and the constant traveling and stressful, unstructured schedules, my dreams are almost boring. They are my refuge. Those dreams, in fact, are a desperate search for balance. For someone whose profession -- journalism, what else? -- does not allow him to be certain in the morning where he's going to be sleeping that night, dreaming is an escape. One day I woke up in Los Angeles and I went to bed amid the ruins of a city in Mexico that had just been devastated by an earthquake; another day I woke up in Miami and went to sleep opposite a Berlin wall that was falling to pieces; one morning I opened my eyes in Madrid, and only exhaustion drove me to collapse in a rickety bed just a few feet from the bombing in Kosovo.

These are the reasons I live without tranquility, without inner peace, and why in my mind I often escape to the house in Mexico, to that house where I lived most of my childhood and adolescence and which still represents stability and serenity. That is my real home, my only home.

Sometimes I dream I am walking calmly from one side of that twostory house to the other. I climb the stairs as if I were floating to the room I share with my brother Alejandro, and I glance over at my other brothers Eduardo and Gerardo, who are playing in their bedroom behind an arch that never had a door. I smile without opening my mouth. I hear my sister, Lourdes, placing her dolls on the high, white, squeaky bed. I leave my room and see the small bathroom with its blue tiles; it's open, the sink is stained with toothpaste, the hamper of dirty clothes overflowing and the lid is thrown on the floor. The television is on in the background, but no one is watching it. A few steps away is my parents' room, its giant bed covered with a green and gold bedspread. I never did find out how many meters long that bed was! I look out the window and there is the garden, a bit neglected but still green, which my father waters when he comes home from work. My mother is downstairs in the kitchen. On the left side of the kitchen there is an enormous stainless steel counter with five glasses of chocolate milk lined up. It is the metal plank that my father brought home from one of his construction jobs. The stoves emit a white, rich and comforting steam; it's coming from the pressure cooker for the frijoles. The tomato sauce for the cheese stew is simmering next to it, and in the center of the stove is a pile of tortillas, puffed up by the warm air. I cross the kitchen, go out to the patio and smell the clean white sheets that are hanging in the sun. When I get to this point, I almost always wake up. Some times I open my eyes ever so slowly, trying to return to the dream. When I am successful, I see myself playing soccer with my brothers in the garden or hanging from a green handrail next to a tree that never bore any avocadoes. I can't always return to my dream. It doesn't matter; I was in my house. I am calm. I know where I come from.

I come from that house on 10 Hacienda de Piedras Negras Street. Bosque de Echegaray, Estado de México: I can still remember my phone number. Really. 560-51-20. I might forget many things, but not that address and my telephone number. If I were to forget them. I would lose my center; I wouldn't know where to go when I get lost, when I am confused, when the world seems too big for me.

When I return to Mexico I like to go by the house and look at it from afar. The last time I went, it still had a green gate and a red roof. Interestingly enough, that same house -- located just a few feet from a noisy superhighway and smothered by pollution, surrounded by a hardware store, a hospital and a homeopathic pharmacy -- produced a wonderful internal peace in me.

I have often been on the verge of getting out of the car, ringing the yellowish bell and asking whoever lived there-my parents sold the house and moved to an apartment -- to let me in to see the house. I admit that I have felt like climbing over the gate the way I used to when I was a child and had forgotten the key. That movement, that metallic rattle, reminds me of those days when nothing -- not even a gate -- could stop me.

Terrible things could have occurred in that house. I can still remember down to the last detail the secret plans I had to throw myself from the roof into the imaginary pool in the middle of the yard -- a five-meter free fall at least-and the dreams I had of putting lots of chinampinas, which were really small amounts of gunpowder, on the soles of my shoes so I could fly like Batman or Superman. For lack of a few pesos, I didn't break my neck or burn my feet.

Truthfully, I don't really need to see that house. I have it recorded inside. I lived there for twenty years. In contrast, the next twenty years I lived in at least sixteen different houses, apartments or hotels.... No Borders. Copyright © by Jorge Ramos. Reprinted by permission of HarperCollins Publishers, Inc. All rights reserved. Available now wherever books are sold.
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Sort by: Showing all of 3 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 5, 2003

    What a great book!!!!

    Thanks to Jorge Ramos, I have the opportunity to see through his eyes different points of view of the war, of the world and of a Mexico City that was ones my home too. As him, lots of people, we had been in this transition, of trying to find a home. You can also feel the way he described his feelings and his thoughts. Thank Jorge to share this with the wold.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 21, 2003

    A look into the life of a passionate journalist and man.

    A gives the reader a deep look into his thoughts and feelings that captures your attention for more.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 14, 2011

    No text was provided for this review.

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