Modeled after the award-winning "Notable Black American Women" ["RBB" Ap 15 92], this work chronicles the careers and achievements of more than 300 Hispanic American women. The editors use the U.S. Census Bureau's definition of Hispanic, which includes those who identify their origins as Mexico, Puerto Rico, Cuba, Spain, or Spanish-speaking Central or South America
The notable women featured here were selected by an advisory board of educators and librarians involved with the Hispanic community and are drawn from all walks of life. They range from actors and astronauts to women's rights activists. Chronologically, coverage extends from the eighteenth century to the present. The majority of the women are contemporary
Each of the signed entries, written by one of 49 contributors, ranges from 500 to 2,500 words and provides personal, family, and career information. Many of the longer entries are accompanied by black-and-white portraits. While many entries are based on secondary sources, a substantial number are original to this volume and are based on personal interviews conducted in late 1992. In this latter category are entries on Dolores Atencio, president of the Hispanic Bar Association; Lillian Castillo-Speed, editor of the "Chicano Periodicals Index"; and Lucille Roybal-Allard, the first woman of Mexican American ancestry to be elected to the U.S. Congress. For biographical sketches drawn from secondary sources, those sources are listed at the end of each entry
A table of contents with cross-references helps users avoid the confusion of compound Spanish surnames. Occupation and ethnicity indexes are found at the front of the volume. The index at the end of the book includes personal names and subjects
Errors are minor. The Havana neighborhood of Celia Cruz was Santos Suarez, not "Santa Saurez." Susanna Redondo de Feldman is from Camaguey Province in Cuba, not "Camguey." Accent marks are not consistent
Overall, this outstanding new reference source will be useful in all libraries, high school and up. It presents a balanced picture of the considerable achievements of Hispanic American women.