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Unspeakable Violence: Remapping U.S. and Mexican National Imaginaries (Latin America Otherwise) Paperback – October 10, 2011

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Editorial Reviews


Unspeakable Violence is an outstanding analysis of violence in the U.S.–Mexico borderlands. As a historian, I am most impressed by the care that Nicole M. Guidotti-Hernández takes to ground her analysis in solid historical research. What I find so refreshing is her willingness to put forth courageous new arguments about what has been little discussed in Chicana/o studies, Latina/o studies, or ethnic studies more broadly. Rather than taking the standard approach of only analyzing violence when Latinas/os are the victims, Guidotti-Hernández reveals borderlands violence in all of its complexity. This is exceptional scholarship.”—George J. Sánchez, author of Becoming Mexican American: Ethnicity, Culture, and Identity in Chicano Los Angeles, 1900–1945

“In this exquisite book, Nicole M. Guidotti-Hernández examines little-known but critically important episodes of violence in U.S.–Mexican borderlands history. Providing a necessary, long-overdue corrective to Chicana/o and borderlands studies, she suggests that in recounting these events as instances of victimization or acts of resistance, Chicana/o feminist and nationalist scholars create tidy narratives for consolidating Chicana/o nationalist identity. In doing so, they disregard Mexican-American complicity in the very acts of violence they describe.”—María Josefina Saldaña-Portillo, author of The Revolutionary Imagination in the Americas and the Age of Development

“It is impossible, of course, to wrangle such a wide-ranging and intelligent study into a few easy quips, and to attempt to do so would go against the notion that Guidotti-Hernández's examples of borderland violence reveal a complexity in Arizona's and Mexico's culture and history for which many historians, let alone politicians, don't always like to account.”
(Tim Hull Tucson Weekly)

“Nevertheless, more work can be done to examine the interdisciplinary problems of investigating intersecting oppressions of race, class, gender, and nationality. Unspeakable Violence is a significant point of departure for this important work.”
(Jason Oliver Chang Hispanic American Historical Review)

Unspeakable Violence has arrived on the scene like a breath of fresh air. . . . Unspeakable Violence further exemplifies how the most effective interdisciplinary scholarship is equally indebted to theoretical rigor and historical responsibility. Refusing to pull punches with its multifaceted assessment of Chicano nationalism and its unflinching methodological strategy, Guidotti-Hernández’s volume makes clear to historians the value of literary texts by writers like Jovita González and Monserrat Fontes, whose indelible contributions to an evidential archive are necessary to a more composite record of the past.”
(Richard T. Rodríguez American Literature)

“Nicole Guidotti-Hernández’s Unspeakable Violence takes on a lot of sacred cows from chicano(a) nationalism to Mexican indigenismo…One of the most exciting aspects of this book is its explicitly transnational approach.” 
(Elliott Young Bulletin of Latin American Research)

About the Author

Nicole M. Guidotti-Hernández is Associate Professor of American Studies at the University of Texas, Austin.


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