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Hunting Season: Immigration and Murder in an All-American Town Hardcover – October 15, 2013

4.6 out of 5 stars 30 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From Booklist

*Starred Review* Pulitzer Prize–winning journalist Ojito achieves another award-worthy feat, this time for her treatment of the minefield issue of immigration. Her focus is on a tragic 2008 incident in which a group of teenage Long Island boys intended only to harass an illegal Ecuadoran immigrant. But the encounter resulted, instead, in the man’s death. After conducting extensive research and listening painstakingly to everyone involved who was willing to speak to her, Ojito then writes with such clarity and evenhandedness that this could be about an emotionally neutral topic—say, apple pie. Yet even as she maintains a dispassionate though not unfeeling distance while relating everyone’s points of view, she does tie everything to the overarching concerns that shape each of the boys and their lives. The fact is, they have families who care about them and who tried to raise them to be decent people. And the deceased, Marcelo Lucero, also had a loving family and his own plans for the future. In Ojito’s hands, the aggregate effect of their stories is one that is far more profound than the diatribes of pundits on both sides of the complex, deeply human question of immigration reform. --Donna Chavez

Review

“Pulitzer Prize–winning journalist Ojito achieves another award-worthy feat, this time for her treatment of the minefield issue of immigration.”
Booklist, starred review

“An in-depth look at the entwined issues of racism and anti-immigration sentiment.”
Kirkus Reviews

“Aptly captures a town’s struggle to reconcile its lilywhite past with its increasingly diverse present.”
Mother Jones

Hunting Season provides a stunningly fair vision of what immigration from Latin America has meant for pockets of the suburban United States.”
Columbia Journalism Review

“An account that is as unflinching as it is important. Both an incisive reconstruction of a heartbreaking murder and an unsparing diagnosis of a national malady … with Hunting Season Ojito has done truth an invaluable service. Extraordinary.”
—Junot Díaz, author of The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao

“Mirta Ojito tells a powerful story, connecting us with the real-life people who are all too often left out of the immigration debate. This book should be required reading in any community grappling with the issues of immigration, which often remain abstract and divisive.… Masterfully written, imbued with a deep, compassionate, and healing intelligence.”
—Julia Alvarez, author of A Wedding in Haiti

“Compelling and complex … Told with the authority of a much-respected journalist, whose own experience as an immigrant lends this book the depth, insights, and poignancy that only someone of her experience can convincingly—and rightfully—convey.”
—Oscar Hijuelos, Pulitzer Prize–winning author of The Mambo Kings Play Songs of Love

“Through a powerful and true story, Hunting Season brings to life how an all-American town confronts immigration. This book reveals not only the shortcomings of our immigration system but also reminds us how we might think of each other and how we treat all of our neighbors, whether or not they look like us. This is our human story.”
—Wes Moore, author of The Other Wes Moore

“With the hyperbolic rhetoric of immigration spewing from every medium, we forget that there are dreams on either side of the divide that has cleaved United States society and threatens our sense of self. Respected journalist Mirta Ojito writes about immigration from the perspective of those who have lived it: from the Italian-descendant mayor of Patchogue to a naturalized waiter from Colombia, from undocumented Ecuadorean laborers to teenagers pumped on adrenaline with not enough to do on a fall night—to heartbroken parents on two continents. This is an important book. I couldn’t put it down.”
—Esmeralda Santiago, author of When I Was Puerto Rican
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 264 pages
  • Publisher: Beacon Press (October 15, 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0807001813
  • ISBN-13: 978-0807001813
  • Product Dimensions: 5.7 x 1 x 8.7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (30 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,445,605 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By L. Bravim VINE VOICE on November 1, 2013
Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
At the heart of Hunting Season: Immigration and Murder in an All-American Town is the question regarding the sanctity of life. Is an illegal immigrant's life worth less than naturalized American's? Mercelo Lucero was an undocumented worker living in Patchogue in Long Island, New York when local teens went 'beaner-hopping'. This refers to an organized assault of Hispanic men simply because of their ethnicity. For bored locals in January of 2009, his life meant absolutely nothing.

There are several layers to Hunting Season. One of the most interesting is the relationship between a small village in Ecuador and Long Island, New York. For years, many thousands of Ecuadorans from this hard-working region have made it to Long Island and worked jobs most Americans don't want. They wash dishes, work construction, etc. Most of these people plan to go back to Ecuador after saving up some money. As a percentage, more Ecuadorans live abroad than any other country in South America. The tension between the Hispanic population is well-described by award-winning author Mirta Ojito.

Another layer to Hunting Season is xenophobia in Long Island in the years preceding Lucero's death. The author condemns one vocally anti-immigrant councilman for creating a climate of hate which may have indirectly contributed to Lucero's death. Pundits like CNN's Lou Dobbs also get some coverage in the book.

One flaw in the narrative is that Jeffrey Conroy, the 17-year old killer, gets off easily. The author spends so much time on the sociological explanation for the killing that she fails to expose his personal responsibility.
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Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
"Hunting Season: Immigration and Murder in an All-American Town" by Mirta Ojito is an extremely well researched and written book giving us a hard look at racism and its repercussions. This book gave me chills when I read about these boys hunting "beaners," the slur for Latinos. Intending to "just" harass one Latino man, this man ended up dead. The lack of compassion and respect for another human being while in any person's mind diminishing them to something as less than worthy to even exist nauseates me. The wrongdoing of an illegal or undocumented immigrant does not justify the hunting of, beating, and/or killing of that immigrant.

The author covers the Latino stereotypes and misconceptions countered with the reality of who they really are. Normal people, actually. In my opinion, matter what group any one of us belong to, there are stereotypes and misconceptions about each and every of us. Unfortunately, there are specific groups who find themselves the victims of hate crimes.

This is a must read book.
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Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
A jaw dropping very scary account of a hate crime in Long Island against undocumented immigrants. The immigrants are needed to care for elderly Americans, take care of their lawns and tend their houses but are unwanted when the lights go down and the wealthy Americans are home. Hate rises up when immigrants attempt to live near their jobs and therefore near the wealthy whose services they render. This is a great story of prejudice and hate and extends the story to how immigration improves and makes America a better place to live. The hate is unacceptable.
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Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
As one can imagine, this is a disturbing, yet true, tale - racism, hate, the forces that combined to lead to this murder. The book is very well written and holds one's attention throughout. It is unsettling how off track some people have gone in this country - not only the youth, but the parents who rear them (or actually fail to do so properly).
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Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
Hunting Season: Immigration and Murder in and All-American Town by Mirta Ojito is an up-close look at one man, Marcelo Lucero, an immigrant from Ecuador who was killed by a group of teenagers, out looking for an evening of nothing more than a Hispanic immigrant to hurt. Although Lucero's death was not premeditated, this young man who worked hard and sent money back to Ecuadro for his family, was stabbed and died.

Ojito introduces us to Lucero, his family, and the teenagers who participated in this hate crime. We also get a good picture of Patchogue, Long Island, a small safe town - at least to most people. The mayor of Patchogue is told about the fears that the immigrant population had and how they limited their activities after dark so as not to attract the attention of those looking to harm them.

Although this is a story of Lucero and the town of Patchogue, the events in this town speak to a bigger problem- that of hatred toward immigrants looking to make a better life by a group of people descended from immigrants themselves. Ojito shares data and research she has done about immigrants and crimes against them, providing an in depth look at a problem not unique to this one man or this one town.
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Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
This story keeps the reader going from page one. It's not really a murder drama, but a sociological explanation of what went wrong in the Long Island Community of Patachogue. What starts out as a brutal killing in the epilogue is explained in subsequent chapters, each chapter devoted to a different character in the story, starting with the immigrant with a dream, the librarian who wanted to help out, the racist teenager and the cop who tried hard to cover it all up.

The author is definitely a compassionate writer. No person in the story was ignored. From Equadorian immigrant, to Irish-Catholic librarian, upper middle class white boy, Italian-American village cop and various passers-by, this story has been told by all angles. Despite wanting to be unbiased, though, there is quite a bit of blame from the author toward the current immigration policies. How can an otherwise peaceful village be now accused of such racist treatment and wanton killing of its immigrants? How could all this have been kept silent for so long?

While the story does seem to lose its focus toward the end (and ends with too much political rant), this is a story that needs to be told and paid attention to. Highly recommended for immigration specialists, Americana aficionados and those just wanting an equal voice for all.
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