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The Other Face of America: Chronicles of the Immigrants Shaping Our Future Reprint Edition

12 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-0060938246
ISBN-10: 0060938242
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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

"I have encountered a lot of discrimination in my life... words like wetback, or ugly words like tar baby." The speaker is not an undocumented Mexican immigrant or a Salvadoran refugee, but George P. Bush, the son of Florida Governor Jeb and his Mexican wife, Columba. Ramos, columnist and Emmy award-winning anchor on Noticiero Univision, makes the case that if a Bush can face racial and ethnic discrimination, imagine what confronts the average Latino. It's a compelling point, as most of the people Ramos writes about in this lively, smart and sometimes cursory tour through U.S. Hispanic lives and cultures have nowhere near the status or privilege of a Bush family scion. The 49 short and mid-length pieces of this collection cover a wide range: e.g., undocumented Chicano nannies in Aspen tending the children of wealthy white vacationers; the energetic battle by Puerto Ricans to stop the navy shelling of Vieques; the shooting death of Amadou Diallo by New York City police. Ramos makes quick, tart points in the shorter pieces, but his longer meditation on the Elian Gonzalez affair shows that he can write sustained, critical think pieces as well. More a journalistic collection than a full-length study, the book is entertaining, informative and well done, but breaks little new ground. (Feb.)Forecast: Look for some sales via Ramos's Noticiero Univision profile and 35-paper syndicated weekly column, but the lack of a solid news hook or personal interest story will prevent larger numbers.

Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information, Inc.

--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Library Journal

Ramos sends his message loud and clear: Hispanics are the emerging minority, and their contributions to American society both culturally and socially are already well established. More importantly, Hispanics are a powerful economic voice all that is left is for their political clout to catch up with their economic impact. With over seven million Mexicans born in Mexico living in the United States, these immigrants cannot be ignored. Crossing into America simply for opportunity, Mexicans fill many jobs most Americans would reject, yet discrimination is still widespread, and the nearly two and a half million illegal immigrants face even greater hardships. In brief vignettes, Ramos, a native Mexican and as a Univision anchorman one of America's most recognized Hispanics, delivers powerful images of immigrants attempting to provide for their family and improve their quality of life, and he destroys many of the stereotypes of Mexicans seeking only welfare benefits. Among the many villains, Ramos counts former California governor Pete Wilson, conservative Pat Robertson, and the migra, or Immigration and Naturalization Service. Initially published in Mexico as La Otra Cara de America, this significant book belongs in all libraries. Boyd Childress, Auburn Univ. Lib., AL
Copyright 2002 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 288 pages
  • Publisher: Harper Perennial; Reprint edition (April 15, 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0060938242
  • ISBN-13: 978-0060938246
  • Product Dimensions: 5.3 x 0.6 x 8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 2.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (12 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #218,707 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

20 of 28 people found the following review helpful By Good Advice on January 26, 2002
Format: Hardcover
Jorge Ramos's views are original, impassioned, well-articulated and important. I read this book because my client translated it from the original Spanish into the English. It struck me that no one else is talking about the amazing culture of immigrants -- the unique issues they face, the fascinating economics of immigration, and the fact that how we deal with the flow of immigrants -- particularly from Mexico and Central and South America -- will have a profound impact on our country in the years to come.
Very illuminating.
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9 of 13 people found the following review helpful By ESB on June 11, 2007
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
A very biased book (at least he admits it). What is good about it? The depiction of life as an illegal immigrant and how immigrants help the American economy. What is flawed? Much more than I am willing to write here. The statistics he uses--conveniently picks and chooses to support his argument. His statistics don't paint the full picture. He doesn't distinguish between legal and illegal immigration. He seems to find no problem with illegal immigration--that's what really bothers people. He believes that it's Mexicans that Americans dislike. It's not Mexicans, it's illegals! All he does seem to do is whine about what is not right. He states there is no way to fix it and suggests that since it can't be fixed, to open our borders fully. There is no advocation about increasing the number of work permits or any cracking down on people who hire the illegals. Not much thought went into providing solutions. Anyone can criticize, but the good ones come up with solutions.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Tomas Benitez on February 18, 2014
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This book gets all five stars because it proves what America lacks and what it's good at. The way he writes is like no other I've seen! I reccomand this book to anyone, who likes to share or live through what immigrants have to go through to have their American Dream come True!
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6 of 9 people found the following review helpful By L. Holmen on September 10, 2007
Format: Paperback
In The Other Face of America, Jorge Ramos, explores the important issue of Latino immigration. Using oral histories he shows the human side of immigrants attempting to provide for their family and improve their quality of life. He counters the argument that illegal immigrants are here for welfare benefits and demonstrates that they contribute more than they take away. These are important issues but unfortunately Ramos is not up to the task of addressing it proffessionally
While immigration is a complex issue, Ramos sees a world that is Brown and White with no grey areas. He sees his "world as mixed brown and inclusive" and "their world as white, exclusive and dominant."(xiv) He states that anti-Hispanic racism pervades the daily life of all Americans. (xxxi) Instead of showing a variety of causes and viewpoints, all is reduced to xenophobia and racism. He doesn't even bother to distinguish between legal and illegal immigrants. Apparently White Americans treat both the same. Journalists are held to similar standards as historians. That is, thoroughness of research, objectivity, logic and unbiased writing. Even though he is a respected journalist he feels "compelled to voice his opinion". (xix) Even with that caveat readers still assume he is still maintaining high journalist standards. He even claims to not be biased (xx) and then throws his bias around liberally. "During the height of Irish and Italian immigration never was there an anti-immigrant sentiment so noticeable and so great as in 1994."(48) A quick trip to the library would have Revealed "No Irish need apply" signs and riots all over the country. I dont remember that in 1994. Is this bias or just bad research? Neither should be tolerated from a reporter.
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13 of 20 people found the following review helpful By Steven W. Knape on July 31, 2002
Format: Hardcover
I serve as pastor of a rural congregation in Ohio. Our community has, for generations, depended on the labor of immigrants for harvest of vegetables, sugar beets, etc. In the course of these many years, we find more and more immigrants staying past the harvest and developing roots in our community, much to the disapproval of some. Ramos' book is a marvelous example to those who disapprove that change in American ethnicity, even in our small, predominantly German community, is inevitable.
But Ramos takes the case a step further in highlighting for us the hope that immigrants find in settling in the US and the contributions immigrants, especially Hispanic, make to our national and local economies and oour culture. What is most illuminating is the way Ramos describes those who come to the US from south of the border, both legally and illegally. It is a personal description which shows that they are no different than "real Americans" or the immigrant stock "real Americans" came from. Todays Hispanic immigrants want the same things for themselves and their families as we do, and as our immigrant ancestors did.
For those of us who have made jokes at the expense of our Hispanic neighbors, or used derrogatory language in describing them, this book is a lesson in humility. I recommend it without hesitation, as it will open the eyes of all but the most hardened racist.
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12 of 19 people found the following review helpful By Ricardo Vallejos on August 12, 2002
Format: Hardcover
Ramos does a superb job of showing how the Latino experience is the American experience: hard-working folks moving from their home country to the USA to make a better future for their families, and in the process, to make a better USA. Ramos also proposes insightful solutions to the social and institutional challenges associated with this wave of immigration. If you want to increase your understanding of Latino cultures in the USA, read this book.
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