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Harvest of Empire: A History of Latinos in America Revised Edition

4.5 out of 5 stars 72 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-0143119289
ISBN-10: 0143119281
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Editorial Reviews

Review

"A serious, significant contribution to understanding who the Hispanics of the United States are and where they came from." --The New York Times Book Review

"Required reading, not simply for Latinos but for everyone." --Kansas City Star

About the Author

Juan Gonzalez, a New York Daily News columnist, has lived in the United States for fifty of his fifty-one years. His numerous honors include the 1998 George Polk Award for excellence in journalism and the Hispanic Academy of Media Arts and Sciences Lifetime Achievement Award. Born in Puerto Rico, he grew up in a barrio housing project and was a cofounder of the 1960s Young Lords. He lives in New York City.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 416 pages
  • Publisher: Penguin Books; Revised edition (May 31, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0143119281
  • ISBN-13: 978-0143119289
  • Product Dimensions: 5.4 x 0.9 x 8.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 9.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (72 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #44,753 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This book is a MUST read for any American (North American) trying to understand the latin-american people and how they are a huge contribution to our country's history yesterday and today. The author starts comparing how the post-Columbus Spanish empire and the early settlements of the english colonies would forever be different, and how it still shapes our North American culture today. Anyone who is unfamiliar with the latino story or who thinks that what goes on in Iraq, Israel, and Afghanistan is more important then what goes on south of the border needs to read this book.

The book is well written, easy to read, and throughly researched. It is not biassed or racist. It is simply an eye opening introduction to a continuously growing latino culture that will continue to be a growing part of this country (USA) for decades to come.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This book was a professor choice for an intro Latin American & Caribbean studies course. If you take the time to read it, it truly opens your eyes, brings you to have a more open mind, and reminds you that there are ALWAYS two sides to every story.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Bought it for my son for a college course at CUNY Hunter. He states that, Gonzalez successfully utilizes all of his past experiences as a Young Lord, as well as his experiences as a journalist who focuses on the Latino conditions in the United States. Really great read and very informative.
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Reading this well-documented, easily-understood history of Latino's in America was a pleasure! Schools across the U.S. should include this as mandatory reading when studying U.S. history. Especially because the book is very relevant TODAY and sets the foundation for understanding what certainly lies ahead for the U.S. Juan Gonzalez is a superb journalist.
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Eye opening information on our relationship with our south of the border neighbors (and I was a history major in college). Completely shifted my preconceptions on why Latino immigrants came to this country and how they contribute to our communities. The book is well written, easy to read, and filled with significant information. Anyone who is interested and/or cares about what most likely will be new immigration legislation would benefit from reading this book.
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Format: Paperback
This book is definitely in the same vein as Galeano, but his perspective is that of a North American, an essential difference. His ideas on bilingualism in conquered territories are startling and new (at least to me). I am of slightly Latino heritage and this book did not cover my family's particular immigrant experience, but it told me a lot about my neighbors, both in the US and across the border. I think that his most interesting pieces were about the mechanics of US investment in Central America and the Caribbean and the harmful effects that inevitably follow. I would have like to have seen more numbers, but I have seen some of the facts he presented on the recruitment and movement of Latino meat packers in other works, like Methland by Nick Reding. The takeaway from this book is twofold: that the threat of the Latino migrant/immigrant is a straw man and that it is actually the US business machine that is harming US workers; and that Spanish language and Latino culture have enriched US culture in many ways. Mr. Gonzalez wishes that more Americans would learn Spanish, an idea I endorse - not so that we can communicate with those unstoppable waves of migrants who are stealing our jobs and refuse to learn English (!!) but to enrich our own lives and knowledge of the U.S.

There is, however, one big flaw in this work, which almost caused me to stop reading as it occurred early in the text. When discussing U.S. appropriation/seizure/annexation/conquest of territory that belonged either to the Spanish Crown or to Mexico, the author does not seem to realize that both parties in these transactions were imperialist/colonial in their essence. Yes, absolutely, Spain "owned" the territory in question first. And Mexico "owned" it after that. The U.S.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
It has given me so much more. This book gives me a better perspective of the why and the who is responsible for the migration of latinos to the US territory. I keep wanting more, tell me more. I believe a whole encyclopaedia can be written on this matter. This book should be use in schools today to void the racist happening now a days. Thanks to the author for teaching me so much.
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Format: Paperback
Harvest of Empire was assigned to my Intro. to Latino Studies class in college. I found the book to be very informative and easy to understand. However, there were some instances in which a subject was skimmed over quickly or the chronological narrative seemed disjointed. There were points in the reading which I did not feel were very objective, however it is a hard subject to be unbiased in. Overall I felt it was an adequate text, which gives a good overview of most of the Latino world. Also, I felt there should be a real book review for this text.
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