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The Trouble with Unity: Latino Politics and the Creation of Identity Paperback – September 27, 2010


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Editorial Reviews

Review


"Cristina Beltrán's powerful book, The Trouble with Unity is timely for our age of Obama in which an ugly anti-immigrant spirit looms large. Don't miss it!" --Cornel West, Princeton University


"In her lucid account of the complexities of identity politics, Cristina Beltrán analyzes U.S. Latino efforts to forge a unified political community, persuasively arguing that unity-based politics can provide spaces for meaningful political action but too often minimizes major differences. The Trouble with Unity is an informative, balanced, and unusually thoughtful contribution." --Rogers M. Smith, Christopher H. Browne Distinguished Professor of Political Science, University of Pennsylvania


"Many have looked at the growth of Latino political identity from a purely empirical perspective. This work, however, tries to understand how Latino-ness is performed and understood in the public sphere, the growth and nature of pan-ethnic identity, and how disparate individuals come together to see themselves as a political interest. Cristina Beltrán's book is a work of theory built off of a careful historical examination of practice and is a major contribution." --Gary Segura, Professor of Political Science and Chair of Chicana/o Studies, Stanford University


"This book makes an original and centrally important contribution by using categories of political theory to analyze the ways in which 'Latinos' have thought about their political identities. It will become essential reading for those interested in how political theorists can contribute to the rethinking of race and ethnicity." --Joan Tronto, Professor of Political Theory, University of Minnesota


"A sophisticated analysis of social justice in the Latino community.... useful for general readership and all undergraduate work on Latino studies in the US.... Recommended." --CHOICE


"The idea of applying political theory to movement politics is certainly unusual, but Beltrán deftly weaves together empirical observation with normative insight in ways that allow us to see the dangers and promises of identity-based political movements." --Perspectives on Politics


"[P]ioneering... systematically dismantles outmoded political discourses in favor of emergent, negotiated, more complex coalitions of Latino solidarity." --Contemporary Sociology


"[A] dazzling reading of Latino politics... One of the signal achievements of The Trouble with Unity is its capacity to vivify the political value and limitations of theoretical canons, old and new. If Beltran's argument stimulates conversation across disciplinary boundaries and takes democratic theory to places where it has not typically wanted to go, she also offers a forceful reminder of why political theorists return to hallowed texts. The Trouble with Unity puts political theorists on notice: the construction of Latino identity [is] not [a] specialty subject. [It is] democratic theory."--Political Theory


"In this pioneering work of social theory, Cristina Beltrán applies thought to the contemporary predicament of 'Latinos,' that portion of the U.S. population which is of Latin American origin or social identity." --Contemporary Sociology


About the Author


Cristina Beltrán is Associate Professor of Social and Cultural Analysis at New York University.

More About the Author

Cristina Beltrán, Ph.D., works at the intersection of Latino politics and political theory. She is associate professor in the Department of Social and Cultural Analysis at New York University.

Her current research project (provisionally titled "Latino Conservatives: Racial Shame, Racial Success, and the Politics of Transformation") is a book-length exploration of how Latino conservative thought is shaped not only by ideology but through a potent combination of emotion, expression, and aesthetics. Other projects include editing a volume tentatively entitled "Political Theory/Latino Politics: Appropriation and Innovation" and a series of essays drawing on Jean-Jacques Rousseau to consider double-consciousness and the modern racial self. Her work has appeared in Political Theory, Political Research Quarterly, and various edited volumes.

Cristina and her husband, editor Matthew Budman, live in New York City.

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