This six-part series follows American history through the eyes and deeds of Hispanic explorers, settlers, and immigrants, from the voyages of Columbus to the burgeoning and vibrant Latino communities of today. Spanish Settlement in North America discusses life on the typical Western ranchero, how Texas evolved from a Mexican province to an independent republic and an American state, how border conflicts in other Western states affected Mexican-American relations, how banditos terrorized the West, and how barrios and their specific culture began springing up as cities grew larger. Cubans in the Florida cigar industry and Hispanics in the Caribbean region are also covered. Creating a New Future evaluates the current status of Latinos in America. Societal and educational barriers are examined along with the effects of exploding populations from illegal and legal immigrants into Florida, Texas, and California. Religion, media, entertainment, politics, and even language are affected by the growing influence of this largest minority in America. Every volume in the series offers well-designed text that is enhanced with illustrations, photos, and box features, which highlight fast facts, quotations, or brief bios of important Latino achievers. The text is designed for an upper elementary or middle school audience but can serve as a helpful survey for older students. Other titles in the series include The Spanish Conquest of America, Prehistory-1775; Independence for Latino America, 1776-1821; Struggling to Become American, 1899-1940; and Fighting for American Values, 1941-1985. Series editor Mark Overmyer-Velazquez is an expert in Latino history andculture who brings his passion for the subject to the final product.
- Pat Sherman
Immigration is certainly in the headlines these days. As we debate the need for new policies, however, we should remember that Spanish speaking people have always been part of North America. As many Latinos like to say, "We didn't cross the border. The border crossed us." Both students and teachers, therefore, should appreciate this history of Spanish settlement in North America. The third in Chelsea House's "Latino-American History" series, it covers the years from the U.S. annexation of Florida in 1822 to the Spanish-American War of 1898. It is not always an inspiring story. As the United States expanded, Latinos often faced prejudice in the very country where they had lived for generations. Often they lost their land, jobs, homes, and schools. Sometimes that prejudice escalated into violence. Yet despite these tensions, the history of Anglo-Latino relations has been largely peaceful. The authors highlight the ways in which Latinos have contributed to American culture. The Mexican vaqueros, famous for their horsemanship, became the first cowboys. "Ranch" comes from the Spanish ranchero. Even the word "filibuster" is based on the filisbusteros, privately led armies which tried to overthrow Spanish authority in Cuba in the decade before the Civil War. The term Latino itself describes people with roots in Mexico, Cuba, Puerto Rico, Central America, California, Southwestern United States, and the Gulf Coast. Given this wide range, the authors do their best to weave Latino history into a single narrative. Individuals highlighted in the text include journalist Jose Marti of Cuba, educator Father Antonio Jose Martinez of Mexico, and Joaquin Murieta of California, who some claim was theoriginal Zorro. Teachers should be glad to add this book to their social studies units and will look forward to subsequent titles in the series.