Immigrants in America are at the heart of what makes this country the most prosperous and visionary in the world. Writing from his own heartfelt perspective as an immigrant, Jorge Ramos, one of the world's most popular and well-respected Spanish-language television news broadcasters, listens to and explores stories of dozens of immigrants who decided to change their lives and risk everything -- families, jobs, history, and their own culture -- in order to pursue a better, freer, and opportunity-filled future in the United States. In his famously clear voice, Jorge Ramos brings to life the tales of individuals from Mexico, Puerto Rico, Cuba, and the Dominican Republic, among other countries, and explains why they first immigrated, what their dreams are, how they deal with American racism, and what they believe their future in America will hold for them and their children.
From the Vieques controversy to the "Spanglish" phenomenon to the explosion of Latino creativity in the arts, Ramos shows that there is a new face in America -- one whose colors and countries of origin are as diverse as the country it has adopted as home.
"I have encountered a lot of discrimination in my life... words like wetback, or ugly words like tar baby." The speaker is not an undocumented Mexican immigrant or a Salvadoran refugee, but George P. Bush, the son of Florida Governor Jeb and his Mexican wife, Columba. Ramos, columnist and Emmy award-winning anchor on Noticiero Univision, makes the case that if a Bush can face racial and ethnic discrimination, imagine what confronts the average Latino. It's a compelling point, as most of the people Ramos writes about in this lively, smart and sometimes cursory tour through U.S. Hispanic lives and cultures have nowhere near the status or privilege of a Bush family scion. The 49 short and mid-length pieces of this collection cover a wide range: e.g., undocumented Chicano nannies in Aspen tending the children of wealthy white vacationers; the energetic battle by Puerto Ricans to stop the navy shelling of Vieques; the shooting death of Amadou Diallo by New York City police. Ramos makes quick, tart points in the shorter pieces, but his longer meditation on the Elian Gonzalez affair shows that he can write sustained, critical think pieces as well. More a journalistic collection than a full-length study, the book is entertaining, informative and well done, but breaks little new ground. (Feb.)Forecast: Look for some sales via Ramos's Noticiero Univision profile and 35-paper syndicated weekly column, but the lack of a solid news hook or personal interest story will prevent larger numbers.
Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information, Inc.
--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title. -- PUBLISHERS WEEKLY.
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April 14, 2003
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