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Living in Spanglish: The Search for Latino Identity in America Paperback


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Living in Spanglish: The Search for Latino Identity in America + Spanglish: The Making of a New American Language + Pardon My Spanglish
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 320 pages
  • Publisher: St. Martin's Griffin; First Edition edition (March 1, 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0312310005
  • ISBN-13: 978-0312310004
  • Product Dimensions: 8.5 x 5.5 x 0.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 9.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #999,854 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Spanglish a spoken hybrid of Spanish and English, which has become increasingly prevalent in Latino communities is for Morales a metaphor for the developing multiracial America, where one's identity "is about not having to identify with either black or white, while at the same time having the capacity to be both." Morales, who has written extensively for the Village Voice, focuses on underground and mainstream Latino culture and what he sees as their changing modes of assimilation and cultural exchange. In discussing the Lower East Side's famous Nuyorican Poets Cafe, Morales examines the effect of gentrification, finding that the (now defunct) Jennifer Lopez-"Puffy" Combs relationship mirrors the economic and cultural help that black culture has supplied in the mainstreaming and commercialization of Latino culture. Similarly, Morales describes gay culture's apparent influence on John Leguizamo as an example of how Latino artists meld together contemporary urban styles. Much of the book deftly theorizes the moves of these more visible figures, as well as street-level negotiations that are just as engaging. Morales has a deep political aim, backed by a real concern with lesser-known histories, as when he connects his 1992 Mexico City trip to the student uprisings there in 1968 or rhapsodizes about the norte¤o-hybrid music scene that includes bands like Caf‚ Tacuba. If the book sometimes reads like a series of arts profiles somewhat stiffly strung together, Morales's passion for this our emerging culture still comes through. (Mar.)Forecast: Morales doesn't quite find the hook that will catapult this book to the fore of discussions of multiculturalism, but in the unlikely event that the legalization of Mexican immigrants comes back onto the political table, that would give it to him. For now, a lackluster cover that fails to advertise the book's celeb engagements may limit its reach.
Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Library Journal

This is an intriguing book but one that stands on shaky ground. Without a bibliography and nary a note in sight, it is hard to reconcile the author's passionate argument that "Spanglish," an all-encompassing, mixed-race, cultural label, should supplant the words Hispanic, Latino, and, generally speaking, American. While Morales, a Village Voice contributor whose work has also appeared in Rolling Stone, the Los Angeles Times, and The Nation, seems to be on steadier ground in his discussions of how Spanish communities in America do or do not assimilate, it is difficult to imagine his theories working in places beyond the big melting-pot cities of New York, California, Florida, and Texas. The breadth of his argument does make for entertaining reading as it descriptively taps into various examples of "Spanglish" entertainment, music, and other contemporary cultural phenomena. The relative absence of any scholarly framework, however, weakens the author's utopian dream, despite his personal exhilaration at the prospect of resolving America's identity crisis. Recommended for academic and large public libraries. Ellen D. Gilbert, Princeton, NJ
Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

11 of 13 people found the following review helpful By Frank Ramirez on April 29, 2002
Format: Hardcover
This is a fascinating book that takes you on a journey into what it means to be Latino. While pointing out the many differences between Latinos and long-standing conflicts, Morales offers hope about the possibility of finding common ground. The book empowers Latinos by alllowing us to see how, historically, we have taken advantage of our mixed-race background, while painting a detailed picture about our presence in America for non-Latinos. The writing is first-rate--I highly recommend this book.
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19 of 24 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on July 28, 2003
Format: Hardcover
As a latino who has enjoyed occasional plays or songs that used Spanglish as a gimmick, I was curious to read this book that claimed that our entire culture should be re-labeled as Spanglish.
But within a few pages, I realized that the author engages in a self-congratulatory "deconstructionist" style designed to impress a) his writing professor in college, b) his less-educated peers, c) not sure whom? Frequent references to Jack Kerouac, Dubois and others seems more of a last-minute thought to fluff-out or "fatten" the book for press time.
I would not recommend this book for anyone needing to learn about the current Latino culture or our issues; a much better bargain is the free pdf download at Lulac.org website.
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Format: Paperback
As a fellow writer of books on ethnicity, I became curious of other viewpoints. Since Latinos/Hispanics are a rapidly growing segment of the U.S. population, I felt a responsibility to examine some of the issues in the Latino community. I found many similarities between the Black and Latino communities when it comes to stereotypes and Race. 1. What do we call ourselves? 2. Stereotypical treatment in Hollywood. 3. Light skin vs. dark skin (Sammy Sosa) I just wish the book wasn't so long. I guess those who are interested in obscure history will love those parts. Thanks for opening my eyes to many things Ed Morales!!

Plain Talk - Volume 1
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7 of 11 people found the following review helpful By Alexandra Rosa on April 29, 2002
Format: Hardcover
Ed Morales has done a wonderful job of helping the World understand the complexity and accomplishments of latinos. I love the chapter about Hollywood and pop music celebrities, and the stuff about California, Puerto Rico, and Cuba are hard-hitting and daring. This book rocks my world, and I hope to share it with my family and friends.
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