This reference tool ranks 100 influential Latino men and women. Some were born in Spain; most were born in the Americas. The vast majority are contemporary, but a few are eighteenth-and nineteenth-century figures. The career blend consists of activists, politicians, entertainers and sports figures, writers, a few scientists and educators, and business people. Names include Vicki Carr, Richard Rodriquez, Pablo Casals, Adolfo, and Fernando Valenzuela
Arranged from the most influential person (Cesar Chavez) down, four-to five-page biographies (reminiscent of "Current Biography") include background, achievements, and occasionally personal remarks about the individuals' heritage. It appears that two contributors wrote the material because the style and emphasis falls into two main types; one begins with family background, chronologically covers achievements and private life, and ends with influential contributions and personal insights. The other begins with contributions, follows the career, and finishes with awards. In some cases, private life is detailed, but in others, such as Linda Ronstadt, it is not mentioned. Black-and-white portraits are provided for each biographee. The introduction describes the major Latino/Hispanic groups
The major limitation of this work is the ranking itself. Specific criteria are not given beyond trailblazing, legendary status, and broad influence. Moreover, it seems that the author and the editor did the rankings without outside verification. Information about many of these people is available in other reference sources, for example, "Who's Who among Hispanic Americans" ["RBB" Mr 15 91], "The Hispanic American Almanac" ["RBB" Ap 15 93], and its spinoff for middle-schoolers, "Hispanic American Almanac" ["RBB" Ap 15 95]. But this compilation about Hispanic legends provides valuable role models, and public and middle-and high-school libraries will welcome this inexpensive first effort.
Celebrates the lives of 100 Americans of Latino or Hispanic ancestry who have made outstanding contributions in fields including science, education, government, labor relations, and entertainment. Short biographies of individuals including Cesar Chavez, Joan Baez, Anthony Quinn, and George Santayana contain b&w photos. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)