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Latino USA, Revised Edition: A Cartoon History Paperback – April 3, 2012
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Stavans has great fun, it's clear, twitting received wisdom. He observes, for instance, that Mexico's "Niños Heroes" may be an invention of folklore, and wryly remarks that "nationalism turns egotism into an ideology." Alcaraz has just as much fun, subversively borrowing stock figures such as the toucan (a symbol in much Latin American literature) and the skeleton to serve as a kind of ironic Greek chorus. But author and illustrator also fulfill an earnestly undertaken mission: namely, in Stavans's words, to "represent Hispanic civilization as a fiesta of types, archetypes, and stereotypes" and to tell its story from many points of view. In this they succeed admirably, and Latino U.S.A. is required reading for anyone interested in democratic, inclusive historical writing. --Gregory McNamee --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
". . . an amusing comic book that outlines the salient features of U.S. Latino history." -- Houston Chronicle [November 1, 2000]
"....a cartoon history for everyone: ...witty and inviting." -- Kirkus Reviews [October 1, 2000]
"Latino USA explores these and similarly serious questions in entertaining cartoon form." -- Austin American-Statesman [October 30,
"Read this primer if you don't want to be left out." -- The --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
Top Customer Reviews
He reaches out to inform -- and celebrate the culture-- with authority and panache. He speaks the truth about the oppressed and the oppressor and his book pulls no punches in a direct attack on any hint of a poor Latino self-image. No time for pity here because the time for ascendance is coming.
This book is a necessary shakeup. It's a primer, albeit uneven at times, to folks outside the Latino community and a step in reaching out to those who don't know the truth of their (varied) civilizations.
Rich and potent, this opinionated polemic stands out as a tool to understanding and pride.
Without denigrating at all Lalo Alcaraz' art, the book fails on several levels, not the least of which is originality. The first question I asked myself was "Who was this written for?" The introduction to what could have been a revolutionary book seems to veer between being too clever for its own good and winking in the direction of academics, intimating somehow that "comics" are a kind of Latino cultural icon that is kitschy and therefore useful for transmitting ideas. Stavans hasn't done much work on cartoons or comics, or the notion that cartoonish comic art is more (or less) appropriate to represent Latino history would have been more informed. Alcaraz' talent rises above this rather mediocre beginning and keeps the reader amused, even while Stavans (as a cartoon Mini-Me) keeps popping up exclaiming the inevitability of historical bias, insisting on the futility of "truth" in history, and generally sounding defensive. Instead of acknowledging the real social and cultural impact of how history has been and gets transmitted, Stavans seems to want to exist in an academic, vague vacuum, which he may believe protects him or makes him appear to be unbiased-- it does neither. Even some of us academics know that.Read more ›
Here are the chapters of the book, as well as some of my favorite topics mentioned within them:
P1: Conquest and Exploration 1492-1890
• The cruelties of the Holy Church
• Forget the Alamo
• The Guadalupe Hidalgo Treaty
• Border bylaws and outlaws
P2: Into the Cauldron 1891-1957
• Our good neighbor policy
• Miguel Antonio Otero rules
• Viva Zapata!
• Hispanophobia: The Movie
P3: Upheaval 1958-1977
• Here comes FIdel Castro
• Bilingual Education is born
• Rodolfo "Corky" Gonzalez also raises the myth of Aztlan
• Cesar Chavez's hunger
• Triumphs and Tribulations of the Chicano Movement
P4: In Search of a Mainstream 1978-1998
• Central America on fire!
• Comprendes Español? The English only movement
• Bilingual Nation
P5: Welcome to Gringolandia 1998-Mañana (tomorrow)
• Patriotism and its Discontents
• Dreamers Act
• The making of Latino USA
• Fear and Racial profiling in Arizona
These topics and more are covered in the book. Anyone and everyone who is a part of, or wants to learn more about, Hispanic/Latin@ culture should go out and buy this book!
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I had to buy this book for an english class and i really didn't think much of it because i was required to read it. after finishing it i can tell you i won't be selling it back. Read morePublished 7 months ago by Michelle
I'm in the "Ilan Stavans Fan Club," so I purchase all his stuff, and I have not been disappointed yet.Published 9 months ago by Kindle Customer
Very informative, and entertaining. Pair it with Donghi's Contemporary History of Latin America, They complement each other very well...Published 15 months ago by Earl Cherry Jr
In the introduction, the discussion of the relative value of "pop art" vs. "pure art" was very compelling as Stavans takes us through his own life and history and... Read morePublished 18 months ago by Miroku Nemeth
As a history teacher, I find graphic re-tellings to be a fun and easier way for students to grasp the concepts I cover. Read morePublished 23 months ago by Jo
Amongst: Lincoln had no daughter.
Mexico won independence in 1821.
Loved the approach - needs more indigenous history throughout hemisphere.