journal of early american history 4 2014 269 279 Apache or Chiricahua Fueled by

Journal of early american history 4 2014 269 279

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journal of early american history 4 (2014) 269-279 Apache or Chiricahua. Fueled by deftly deployed details and the flurry of sharply drawn individual lives, the chapters fly by. Immigration features heavily in the book, especially in its final third (subti- tled “The Second Hispanic Colonization, c. 1898–2012”). But Fernández- Armesto insists that his book is “not a study of immigration,” as such, because that might fall into the traditional view of the us as an Anglo nation into which Hispanics then migrated. He wants Americans to “contemplate their country” differently; to see how Hispanics went there first, then went there in parallel with other Europeans, and only later migrated there more recently. New Hispanic immigrants should not therefore be feared as intruders, but “wel- comed as homecomers.” The style is erudite but lively, digressive but purposeful; this is recognizably Fernández-Armestian prose. There are numerous asides: the popularity of English rugby football in France is an “astonishing cultural transmission”; tele- vision commentary on a Miss Yucatán beauty contest, watched by Fernández- Armesto in a Mexican hotel room, “took the form of a sort of erotic-aesthetic secessionism”; he thinks “truth is out there” and “History is a muse you glimpse bathing between leaves”; “I am lazy,” he confesses, “I am both lazy and Catholic.” But these are always in service of a point that is reached soon enough; they are, futhermore, brief and engaging, frequently entertaining, part and parcel of the element of personal opinion that pervades the book.
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