Review by Library Journal Review
PBS Newshour senior correspondent Suarez wrote and performed this ambitious audio companion to the eponymous documentary series. The encyclopedic narrative covers 500 years of Latino American historical figures, from early explorers to modern-day personages. Suarez weaves the story of the Latino community's rise and struggle into the larger American narrative through broad trend descriptions as well as intimate portraits of individuals. His chronological approach is comprehensive but can make the narrative sound like a textbook. Suarez is a competent narrator and reads with passion about his subject. VERDICT Recommended to fans of the documentary series or those looking for a powerful overview of Latino Americans' substantial contribution to American history.-Mark John Swails, Johnson Cty. Community Coll., Overland Park, KS (c) Copyright 2013. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
(c) Copyright Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
Review by Kirkus Book Review
An earnest, informative companion to the PBS series on the largest and fastest-growing minority in the United States: Latinos, now numbering more than 50 million. Journalist and PBS commentator Suarez (The Holy Vote: The Politics of Faith in America, 2006) notes that, among nations, only Mexico contains more Hispanics than the U.S. "At some point in the 2040s," writes the author, "a slim majority of Americans will trace their ancestry to people who arrived in this country from someplace other than Europe." Beginning in the 17th century, Suarez reminds readers that when Englishmen arrived at Massachusetts and Virginia to settle or look for riches while despoiling and killing Indians, Spaniards and colonists from Mexico had been doing the same for 50 years in Florida and the Southwest. After a review of Spanish New World exploration and capsule histories of Mexico, Cuba and Puerto Rico that emphasize their usually painful relations to the U.S., Suarez concentrates on America's Latino legacy from the 19th century to the present. Two themes predominate: racism and immigration. Although not as murderous as that against blacks, discrimination against Latinos has an equally long and troubled history that turns out to be no less true for white America's fear of being overwhelmed with Hispanics pouring across our border. True to TV documentary format, Suarez includes the story of an individual with every section. Few will be familiar, yet many should be--e.g., Jos Mart, the hero of Cuban independence, or Juan de Oate, founder of the first white settlement in the Southwest. Matters improve greatly as the author approaches the present day and points with pride to famous Latinos from Desi Arnez to Albert Pujols. More journalistic guide than history, the book provides a satisfying antidote to average readers' disturbing ignorance of America's Hispanic heritage.]] Copyright Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.
Copyright (c) Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.