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Mexifornia : A State of a Becoming Paperback – September 25, 2004

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Editorial Reviews


"In an atmosphere rife with so much hypocrisy, Mr. Hanson's outspoken book is quite a breath of fresh air."

About the Author

Victor Davis Hanson is a classicist at California State University.

Product Details

  • Paperback: 150 pages
  • Publisher: Encounter Books; First Edition edition (September 25, 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1594030561
  • ISBN-13: 978-1594030567
  • Product Dimensions: 5.8 x 0.6 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 7.2 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (39 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,047,377 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

193 of 212 people found the following review helpful By Jeffrey Leach HALL OF FAME on July 8, 2005
Format: Paperback
I've never lived in California, let alone visited the state for any period of time, and after reading Victor Davis Hanson's "Mexifornia: A State of Becoming," I wondered how anyone in their right mind would want to go anywhere near there. Sure, if you're a wealthy celebrity who earns millions making movies in Hollywood, California probably isn't that bad of a place. If you're a wealthy executive with one of the Silicon Valley firms, California is likely just dandy. In other words, if you've got enough money to live in a heavily fortified compound, only having to drive into the city in a motorcade with enough security to wage war against a small country, California is great. Regrettably, the other 99% of the population doesn't have it so good. They have to contend with a crime rate that staggers the imagination, sky-high property values, and millions of illegal aliens largely responsible for most of the state's financial woes. California taxpayers spend billions of dollars a year to warehouse millions of poor immigrants. Victor Hanson, a lifelong native, examines the illegal alien problem in a way few other authors can manage. He's spent his entire life seeing the problem up close and personal, and it's a problem of earth shattering dimensions.

Hanson expresses little hostility for Mexicans or Mexican-Americans. He grew up in a small farming town where most of his friends and neighbors were--and still are--Mexican immigrants. The author understands that most Mexicans who went through the assimilation process in the 1950s and 1960s are industrious, proud citizens who went on to contribute much to American society.
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95 of 109 people found the following review helpful By yankee-in-ca on February 15, 2005
Format: Paperback

I used to hear Spanish ballads out in the fields, blaring on the radios of plum pickers [who] wore khaki-like uniforms with straw hats and said "si señor -- no señor" when told to pick fruit by color or size. They looked and acted like the peasants in "The Treasure of the Sierra Madre." Now the illegal alien plays gehtto-inspired rap, wears his baseball cap backwards, is amply tattooed, and is more likely to answer "OK already" or "No problema" -- mimicking Schwarzenegger rather than speaking Spanish. I miss the old world; those in this new world would not.

(End quote.)

Hanson's delightful little book would make a happy companion to Windschuttle's "The Killing of History: How Literary Critics and Social Theorists are Murdering Our Past." Windschuttle is also an academic, but he never leaves the ivory tower; his is always the (equally entertaining) view from ABOVE. Victor Hanson is also an academic, but he owns a farm south of Fresno, and this spellbinding book is multiculturalism as it looks ON THE GROUND. One of his more compelling conjectures is that academia and the press have helped legitimize "tribalist" (I love it!) victimhood, a hypothesis that has broad implications for the culture of poverty everywhere in the U.S.

This thought-provoking treasure is also, in its wit and entertaining style, the book Tom Wolfe (Bonfire of the Vanities) or David Brooks (Bobos in Paradise) would have written if they weren't stuck back in old New York. (The New Yorker: "California, harbinger of everything...") His vignettes from life ring so true the reader can't help but laugh with recognition.
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39 of 44 people found the following review helpful By Brian Dowrick on November 13, 2005
Format: Paperback
This is one of those rare books, that should be mandatory reading, by anyone who wants to open their mouth about immigration.

This book is laid out in a very articulate, non-agenda, balanced view of the state of immigration in the united states regarding Mexico.

If you are For or Against Undocumented workers (those with no formal US citizenship), then you should take a look at Mexifornia.

All sides are looked at. It is quite apparent that the writer was very concerned with not offending anyone too much. After reading,

or listening to, many political books, this is by far one of the least "preachy". It lays out the facts, as seen through the eyes of a

Peach Farmer in Southern California, and scholar of immigration history.

It also gives you a Democratic point of View, a Republican point of view, a Big business point of view, Liberal point of view, town view,

country view, worker view, old migrant view, new new migrant view. Even a point of view from both male and female migrants. And

the differences in past migration, and present. Very thorough.

A Very good book.

A must Read (or better yet, get the audio book)
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16 of 16 people found the following review helpful By Reader on December 8, 2006
Format: Paperback
The author is a 4th-generation Californian of European descent, but has many close relatives and even more friends of Mexican descent. He is the rare commentator who articulates clearly both sides of the issues, the rare academic who lives the subject personally as well as abstractly, and he reveals clearly the motivations of all the partisans.

His harshest criticism is not of illegal immigrants -- though he points out their many negative aspects -- but of hypocritical Anglo and Hispanic leftists or liberals including those in university social science departments. It's their ideology that both encourages mass illegal immigration and keeps the new immigrants down and out once they get here. Conservative business owners who take advantage of illegal labor because it's cheap also get slammed.

I'm impressed at what a clear vision Hanson has, and how solid his arguments are. No demerits though he has no bibliography and there are no footnotes. He has lived the subject all his life, and sees its importance from the greater historical perspective of his profession as a classics professor (i.e., European cultural history).

Highly recommended, no matter which side of the fence you're on. So to speak.
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