A landmark scholarly work, The Oxford Encyclopedia of Latinos and Latinas in the United States offers comprehensive, reliable, and accessible information about the fastest growing minority population in the nation. With an unprecedented scope and cutting-edge scholarship, the Encyclopedia draws together the diverse historical and contemporary experiences in the United States of Latinos and Latinas from Mexico, Puerto Rico, Cuba, the Dominican Republic, Central America, South America, Europe, Asia, and the Middle East.
Over 900 A to Z articles ranging in length from 500 words to 7,500 words written by academics, scholars, writers, artists, and journalists, address such broad topics as identity, art, politics, religion, education, health, and history. Each entry has its own bibliography and cross-references and is signed by its author.
Essential for scholarly and professional researchers as well as the classroom and library, The Oxford Encyclopedia of Latinos and Latinas in the United States will fill a void in the historical scholarship of an under-served population.
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Suzanne Oboler is Associate Professor of Latin American and Latino Studies at the University of Illinois at Chicago and founding Editor of the international academic journal Latino Studies. Her publications include: Ethnic Labels, Latino Lives: Identity and the Politics of Representation in the United States (University of Minnesota Press, 1995); Neither Enemies nor Friends: Latinos, Blacks, Afro-Latinos (co-edited with Anani Dzidzienyo, Palgrave Press, 2005), and numerous book chapters and articles documenting the experience of Latino/as in the United States.
Deena J. González teaches at Loyola Marymount University where she is Professor and Chair of the Department of Chicana/o Studies. An historian of the nineteenth-century southwestern United States, and the first Chicana to receive a Ph.D. from Berkeley's history department, she credits her lineage and her mentors for her book, Refusing the Favor: The Spanish-Mexican Women of Santa Fe, 1820-1880 (Oxford Univ. Press, 1999) In addition, she has written numerous articles on race, colonization, representation, identity, and sexuality.
*Starred Review* A child of the 1970s movement to teach Chicano and Puerto Rican studies in American universities, this comprehensive encyclopedia aims to be a "tool in the continuous struggle to unshackle the human spirit" by "dispelling the many and persistent prejudices and bigotries regarding Latinos" in the U.S. Some 900 A-Z essays ranging in length from 500 to 7,500 words and written by 500 experts document the impact of Latinos in all spheres of U.S. history and society, from conquistador to migrant worker and from economic refugee to political exile. More than 400 illustrations, sidebars, maps, and charts accompany the text. Editor Oboler is associate professor, Latin American & Latino Studies, University of Illinois at Chicago; and editor Gonzalez is chair, Department of Chicano/a Studies, Loyola Marymount University.
As explained in the introduction, content is organized into seven general areas, each with its own editor: "Culture, Language, Hollywood, and the Media," which includes entries on such topics as Documentaries, Latin Grammies, Quinceanera, and Spanglish; "International Relations and Political Economy" (Cuban Embargo, Maquiladoras, Spanish-American War); "Museums, Architecture and Urban Landscapes, Religion and Folklore, and Education" (Literacy; Little Havana; Llorona, La; Santeria); "Race, Laws and Customs, and Court Cases" (Bilingual Education Act, Stereotypes); "The Environment, Science, Technology, and Health and Nutrition (Agriculture, Diabetes, Pesticides); "Contemporary Political Participation, Access and Citizenship" (Green card, Voting); and "Literature, Poetry, the Arts, and Sports" (Baseball, Nuyorican Poets Cafe, Graffiti, Publishing). Entries themselves are of three types. Thematic essays focus on broad topics, and issue essays are more specific. Approximately 200 biographies--always popular items--highlight pioneers or those individuals who, like author Isabel Allende, ethnologist Lydia Cabrera, labor union organizer Cesar Chavez, baseball Hall of Fame inductee Roberto Clemente, music impresario Emilio Estefan, Oscar-winning actor Anthony Quinn, and U.S. Representative Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, have left indelible marks in U.S. history. Two excellent aids, a topical outline of entries and a subject and keyword index at the end of volume 4, provide multiple access points to information embedded under main entries that otherwise might have been difficult to locate.
This encyclopedia appears just a few months after Grolier's four-volume Encyclopedia Latina: History, Culture, and Society in the United States. Both are aimed at the student, researcher, and general reader, and as might be expected, they have many entry headings in common. The Grolier set has around 250 fewer entries but more supplementary materials, including sidebars (of which the Oxford set has only around a dozen); appendixes containing primary documents and statistical charts; and a selection of color plates; these, in addition to its less-dense-looking pages, may make it more appealing to students. But a library can't go wrong with either set, and large libraries serving large Latino populations will want both. The Oxford Encyclopedia of Latinos and Latinas in the United States is highly recommended for public, academic, and high-school library reference collections. Diana Kirby
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