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Comment: Ex-library book. The item shows wear from consistent use, but it remains in good condition and works perfectly. All pages and cover are intact (including the dust cover, if applicable). Spine may show signs of wear. Pages may include limited notes and highlighting.
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Still Dreaming: My Journey from the Barrio to Capitol Hill Hardcover – October 7, 2013

4.6 out of 5 stars 21 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Ten-term Illinois Congressman Gutierrez recounts his political evolution from campaigning for Puerto Rican independence and stumping for Harold Washington&'s mayoral campaign in Chicago, to his role as a Chicago alderman and eventual rise to a spot on Capitol Hill. Gutierrez dutifully recalls the infighting and old-boy networks he&'s encountered on both a local and national level, and his passion for his constituents and the Hispanic community is undeniable. Known as a champion of immigrants&' rights, as a writer, Gutierrez sometimes lets the trees get in the way of the forest, as he has a tendency to dwell on the minutiae (such as an interaction in which Barack Obama, whom Gutierrez had supported, blows him off) while letting the larger stories escape. His political career in Chicago is rendered with great detail, while his congressional campaign receives barely a mention. Readers interested in the machinations and day-to-day diplomacy of politics at all levels will likely find Gutierrez&'s account to be honest and informative. Those looking for a larger picture, one of the local boy makes good variety, may find their patience tested, as Gutierrez&'s micro-level focus tends to grind. 8 pages of photos. Agent: Ayesha Pande, Ayesha Pande Literary. (Oct.)

From Booklist

Gutierrez has been a U.S. congressman for 20 years, but he still thinks of himself as the Puerto Rican kid from Chicago, challenging the powers that be. This engaging autobiography, coauthored by Gutierrez’s former chief of staff, takes readers back to the congressman’s formative years, when he developed the ideals he has carried with him to the present. At the age of 15, Gutierrez was uprooted from Chicago’s teeming melting pot to rural Puerto Rico, his parents’ native home. With limited Spanish-speaking skills, he was immediately marked an outsider, an experience that continues to shape his empathy for immigrants. Back in Chicago, his interloper’s mind-set served him well as he took on the city’s infamous political machine and won. In candid, self-deprecating style, Gutierrez writes about city-council wars and his push for immigration reform from the perspective of a foot soldier, not a policy wonk. The result is a civics lesson masquerading as entertainment. In his less-than-glowing portrayal of President Barack Obama, Gutierrez clearly still revels in his troublemaker status. Change, Gutierrez-style, is not a matter of hope; it’s one of force. --Patty Wetli
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 432 pages
  • Publisher: W. W. Norton & Company; 1 edition (October 7, 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0393088979
  • ISBN-13: 978-0393088977
  • Product Dimensions: 6.5 x 1.4 x 9.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.6 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (21 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #712,409 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Linda on February 15, 2014
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Congressman Gutierrez's autobiography is inspiring. He grew up in a family that lived in working poverty and he has lived on both sides of several divides. As a kid, he was considered too brown in the US where he was born and too American in Puerto Rico where his parents moved when Gutierrez was 15. His political coming of age came during the time when the Chicago Democratic Party repudiated and pilloried a fellow Democrat, Harold Washington, because of race. Gutierrez had to fight for opportunities to find/make his own personal and political identity. His house was firebombed after he ran against the Chicago Democratic Party machine in alignment with Harold Washington, but he keeps a true north compass. This means Gutierrez often stands alone in trying to bring about immigration reform so that – as he puts it – hard-working families can remain unified. He has been inventive in finding spaces where he can make a difference. He has been arrested for peaceful protests in favor of immigration reform that have received a lot of press. At the same time, his is the only Congressional office ever authorized by the INS to help immigrants through the arduous process of becoming naturalized citizens – more than 50,000 people have become citizens with the help of his office. He is a Don Quixote but he is tilting at real windmills not fantasy ones.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Congressman Luis Gutiérrez has written a poignant, compelling, and humorous memoir that makes for a very enjoyable read. Those fortunate enough to have been regaled with some of his anecdotes know that Luis Gutiérrez possesses a treasure trove of stories of struggles and perseverance. He has encountered everything from the sublime to the ridiculous. This book shows how he has made it his business not just to ably represent his Congressional district and become a leader on important issues beyond his immediate constituents (e.g. comprehensive immigration reform, civil rights, equality, financial regulatory reform, and others). He has also made it his business to comfort the afflicted and afflict the comfortable in order to help attain what is right and what is just. This book is like a fulfilling meal at your favorite Chinese restaurant. It will satisfy you immensely but will leave you wanting more. Here's hoping that a follow-up to this wonderful memoir is in the works.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
The writing is heartfelt and unpretentious from someone I admire and with whom I can relate because we are both children of the Puerto Rican diáspora, going back and forth between two worlds. He has champeoned many more just and controversial causes than he relates or takes credit for in the book yet he has maintained his humility and humor. Adelante, Luis!
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I enjoyed this book very much. I am Puerto Rican and went through similar things that congressman went through, as a Puerto Rican living in Brooklyn, NY. I learned a lot about the workings of politics. I came out feeling very proud of Congressman Luis Gutierrez. It's a must read not just Puerto Ricans but for any activist who believe on fighting for what is fair, as Comprehensive Immigration.
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Format: Kindle Edition
The cover of this book, My Journey from the Barrio to Capitol Hill by Luis Gutierrez made me want to read this book. Congressman Luis Gutierrez has such an open and beckoning smile His book tells of his journey as Puerto American in Lincoln Park, Chicago to Puerto Rico and back. He is now in his eleventh term.

The book opens with a consequence of going against the political machine. His house was firebombed. His whole family could have been killed. After this dramatic opening, he swings back to when he was growing up in Lincoln Park. The neighborhood was very poor and there were gangs and drugs. When he was growing up, he did not know how to speak Spanish. He could understand what his parents said but could not use the language. Then his parents started buying up expensive things like a new couch and a new stereo. His father who was a cab driver at the time had decided it was time to return his family to Puerto Rico. His father's dream was to have a family restaurant. He was concerned that Luis would join the gangs and never learn about his Puerto Rico Heritage.

Luis discovered that Puerto Rico was very different than Lincoln Park. He struggled at first to speak Spanish but mastered it completely later. He learned the value and self-respect that comes with hard work and an understanding of the world of the sugar cane workers. He learned to have pride in his heritage and to court a sweetheart.

That is only a glimpse of part of his story. Reading his biography, it is clear why the Comprehensive Immigration Reform is so important to him. He writes of his background and how he came to form his opinions and why he works so passionately to help immigrants.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Engaging from the first paragraph! So proud of yet another Northeastern alum who has made dreams come true for OTHERS as well as himself. Wicked humor that creates vibrant scenes of Chicago, Puerto Rico, and even Washington DC. Bravo !!!!
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