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Mongrels, Bastards, Orphans, and Vagabonds: Mexican Immigration and the Future of Race in America Paperback – October 14, 2008
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Top Customer Reviews
What Gregory Rodriguez has offered us is a nicely written history of Mexican-Americans and Mexican immigrants from the arrival of Hernando Cortes in 1519 to the present day as seen through the filter of mestizaje - the racial and cultural synthesis of Mexican descendants into larger cultures.
In his political and cultural account of over five hundred years of Mexican/American relationships, Rodriguez covers many of the main historical elements of this time period - Indian-Spanish interaction, the Spanish racial system, Mexican independence, the western expansion of the United States, Texas independence, and the Mexican-American War. In his concluding chapters, Rodriguez goes on to cover key elements of the past hundred years and their impact on our history- the Nativist movements, WWII, the bracero program, the Chicano movement, multi-culturalism, Cesar Chavez, bi-lingual education, and the rapid growth of Spanish language media.
Despite the periods of anti-immigrant fervor that tends to re-emerge on a regular basis in the United States, especially during difficult economic times, Rodriguez has a decidedly optimistic outlook.Read more ›
I'd like to emphasize two strengths of Rodriguez's work. First, he is making what is essentially an argument based on a single--though incredibly complex--historical process, namely mestizaje. Rather than using the historical record as a convenient backdrop or filler for his book, the historical record is the argument. Weaving such a narrative is not seemingly difficult. Constructing an overarching argument from 400 years of history is, however, no easy task. If indeed, as he argues, Mexican-Americans are contributing significantly--if not singlehandedly--to the destabilization of "race" in the 21st century U.S. , this process will not be the result of some grandiose ideological project, but rather a consequence of innumerable and often contradictory social practices. Rather than merely claiming such an outcome has historical precedence, Rodriguez's narrative serves to demonstrate that what is occurring and will occur over the subsequent decades is tied directly to an historical process that began effectively in 1492.
Of course, Rodriguez is sensitive to the nuances and complexities of the historical record, and his analysis never shies from the dark and exploitative side of mestizaje.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Well researched, filled with quotes, facts and names in history.Published 1 month ago by J J Salazar
Very accessible well researched book! Highly recommendable.Published 16 months ago by Dosinda Garciaalvite
I had bought this book before, & gave it to a friend. Bought this one to give to my grand daughter.
Both of us enyoyed this book immensly , because of its historical info.
I think highly of this book. It shows the blend of race in both Mexico and the USA. The first Spaniards who came to New Spain with Cortes married into the Indian race. Read morePublished on April 24, 2012 by Kevin M Quigg
I really enjoyed this book. The history was so comprehensive; it definitely raised the bar for anyone wanting to write about Mexcian immigration trends. Hard book to put down.Published on January 8, 2010 by Nihilist
Insightful and comprehensive history of the development of Mexico and its indigenous people.This information provides relevant understanding about today's immigration concerns and... Read morePublished on February 7, 2009 by Thoreau
This is a very well written, well researched book. It is scholarly, yet very readable. In this day and age when too many Americans resort to an over-simplification of complex... Read morePublished on January 26, 2009 by h Alton Jones
Almost from the very beginning, the United States has exhibited a schizophrenic attitude toward Mexican-Americans and Mexican immigrants living in the United States. Read morePublished on October 20, 2008 by Armchair Interviews