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Latinos: A Biography of the People

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They are sometimes called the people who died twice, once at the hands of the Spaniards and their brutal process of civilization, then at the hands of Anglos, practicing a subtler exploitation. They are Latinos, the fastest-growing minority in the United States. Earl Shorris's deeply moving narrative—enlivened by biographical sketches of Mexican Americans, Cuban Americans, They are sometimes called the people who died twice, once at the hands of the Spaniards and their brutal process of civilization, then at the hands of Anglos, practicing a subtler exploitation. They are Latinos, the fastest-growing minority in the United States. Earl Shorris's deeply moving narrative—enlivened by biographical sketches of Mexican Americans, Cuban Americans, Puerto Ricans, and many others struggling with the burden of a rich and terrible history—illuminates every aspect of the Latino experience in America, from language to education to social and political organization. "[A] powerful, beautifully-written and thoughtful book...likely to remain unequaled in its sweep and profundity for some time to come."—J. Jorge Klor de Alva, The New York Times Book Review "A smart, perceptive and wonderfully readable book.... Should be required reading for anyone who would hope to understand America."—Gerald Volgenau, Boston Globe


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They are sometimes called the people who died twice, once at the hands of the Spaniards and their brutal process of civilization, then at the hands of Anglos, practicing a subtler exploitation. They are Latinos, the fastest-growing minority in the United States. Earl Shorris's deeply moving narrative—enlivened by biographical sketches of Mexican Americans, Cuban Americans, They are sometimes called the people who died twice, once at the hands of the Spaniards and their brutal process of civilization, then at the hands of Anglos, practicing a subtler exploitation. They are Latinos, the fastest-growing minority in the United States. Earl Shorris's deeply moving narrative—enlivened by biographical sketches of Mexican Americans, Cuban Americans, Puerto Ricans, and many others struggling with the burden of a rich and terrible history—illuminates every aspect of the Latino experience in America, from language to education to social and political organization. "[A] powerful, beautifully-written and thoughtful book...likely to remain unequaled in its sweep and profundity for some time to come."—J. Jorge Klor de Alva, The New York Times Book Review "A smart, perceptive and wonderfully readable book.... Should be required reading for anyone who would hope to understand America."—Gerald Volgenau, Boston Globe

30 review for Latinos: A Biography of the People

  1. 4 out of 5

    David

    From his constant disdain for Caucasians (or, "Anglos", as he refers to them) to his disparaging footnotes in the family narratives towards the end of the book, Shorris is a sad, angry little man. Initially I picked this up in the interests of researching for a story I'm working on. I looked forward to learning some history of the Latin culture and I must admit that there were certain sections where I was completely engrossed, but overall this is a tough read due to the nasty emotional brush tha From his constant disdain for Caucasians (or, "Anglos", as he refers to them) to his disparaging footnotes in the family narratives towards the end of the book, Shorris is a sad, angry little man. Initially I picked this up in the interests of researching for a story I'm working on. I looked forward to learning some history of the Latin culture and I must admit that there were certain sections where I was completely engrossed, but overall this is a tough read due to the nasty emotional brush that Shorris used to paint this history. Published in 1992, I am curious if Shorris ever was semi-satisfied with the progress of the Latino culture before his death several years ago. Two stars for the facts and interesting history in here but I can't rate it any higher due to his obvious bias.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Valarie

    Been reading as a complement to my Spanish class. The main thing I'm learning from this book is that the ocean that has been made of the differences between blacks and Latinos is more of a stream... actually a creek after months of drought. It's a very thought-provoking read and, while a bit dated (my copy was bought from a book fair in the early 90s), remains very timely in many respects. Been reading as a complement to my Spanish class. The main thing I'm learning from this book is that the ocean that has been made of the differences between blacks and Latinos is more of a stream... actually a creek after months of drought. It's a very thought-provoking read and, while a bit dated (my copy was bought from a book fair in the early 90s), remains very timely in many respects.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Deeperthanpoetry DRMelo

    I enjoyed this book, because it taught me & reminded me of how humanity is constantly changing. It also shows how diverse we as humans are and how many wonderful things come from diversity. It also covers dark historic facts about the abuse & mistreatment of people as a whole. I really learned a lot from this book.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Bob

    The author is a novelist/journalist who grew up in El Paso with Mexican and Sephardic roots. The book is a series of vignettes that portray Latinos in the United States in a variety of settings: economic, political, religious, cultural. Shorris always emphasizes diversity: Cubans, Mexicans, Dominicans, Puerto Ricans; Catholics and others; wealthy, middle-class and poor; educated and uneducated (some men and women so badly taught that they are not fluent in any language.) The best segments are m The author is a novelist/journalist who grew up in El Paso with Mexican and Sephardic roots. The book is a series of vignettes that portray Latinos in the United States in a variety of settings: economic, political, religious, cultural. Shorris always emphasizes diversity: Cubans, Mexicans, Dominicans, Puerto Ricans; Catholics and others; wealthy, middle-class and poor; educated and uneducated (some men and women so badly taught that they are not fluent in any language.) The best segments are moving and poetic: "The mother came here one day, she said to me, 'You want him, take him.' But I can't take him, he has a mother a home. Every day he eats lunch with me in the lunchroom. Now I have to send him to school in the Bronx.' They work well together, the stern one and the elfin one with the filigree of sadness over her smile. But they are not providers of bilingual education. The business of [the school] is triage." Shorris does not aim at proof: he often makes undocumented assertions to move and inform us, but always with an open mind.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Jacob Antony

    Struggling with my own twisted ideals and impressions of illegal immigration, I personally agree with Rae. This book provides understanding on the Latino populous in this world. They are the growing minority in the U.S., far outpacing even the Asian community. Although merely stating the facts of the history of this culture (such as the Spaniard wars and the Anglo exploitations), it invites us to decide whether these people are guilty of the crimes that we have charged against them, or, is it re Struggling with my own twisted ideals and impressions of illegal immigration, I personally agree with Rae. This book provides understanding on the Latino populous in this world. They are the growing minority in the U.S., far outpacing even the Asian community. Although merely stating the facts of the history of this culture (such as the Spaniard wars and the Anglo exploitations), it invites us to decide whether these people are guilty of the crimes that we have charged against them, or, is it really just a product of stereotypes and prejudice?

  6. 5 out of 5

    Rae

    As I try to wrap my fingers around my convoluted thoughts and emotions regarding illegal immigration, I look for information from books, as well as people. This is a lengthy tome, but well worth the read as the author covers most of the issues concerning the Latino presence in America.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Barbara Lovejoy

    WOW!!! I learned so much about Latinos that I didn't know, helping to give me a different perspective on a number of things. WOW!!! I learned so much about Latinos that I didn't know, helping to give me a different perspective on a number of things.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Elia

  9. 5 out of 5

    David Nicks

  10. 4 out of 5

    Shaun

  11. 5 out of 5

    Rindge Leaphart

  12. 5 out of 5

    Edamericas

  13. 4 out of 5

    Bri

  14. 5 out of 5

    Cara Ungar-Gutierrez

  15. 5 out of 5

    Jennifer

  16. 4 out of 5

    Meghan

  17. 5 out of 5

    Nichole

  18. 4 out of 5

    Anthony Otero

  19. 5 out of 5

    Craig Werner

  20. 4 out of 5

    Alexandra

  21. 4 out of 5

    Dolores

  22. 5 out of 5

    Exportswede

  23. 4 out of 5

    Owl

  24. 4 out of 5

    Cynthia Ronquillo

  25. 5 out of 5

    Alva

  26. 5 out of 5

    Kimberly Fisher

  27. 5 out of 5

    Karl

  28. 5 out of 5

    Meaghan

  29. 5 out of 5

    Maria

  30. 5 out of 5

    Jolie

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