A History of Latinos in America
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The book “Harvest of Empire: A History of Latinos in America” was written by Juan Gonzales, an American progressive journalist and an investigative reporter. This book resembles another one about immigrants, a book by Roger Daniels, which is called “Coming to America”. Although Latinos has become an important part of the America’s life, they still feel like immigrants. The book “Harvest of Empire: A History of Latinos in America” raises such questions, it gives an overview on the life of immigrants and those whose ancestors were immigrants. This book contains both journalism and history overview; the author understands that “Hispanic” are not just people, who live in the Latin America, but there is something more about them; all they are different. On the other hand he critiques the policy of the United States of America, which was aimed to make a border between the North and South Americas; the author compares this with China and it’s the Great Wall. However, the main idea of the book is not to show the contradiction between the North and the South America, but to help readers to understand why there are so many Latinos in the United States of America, and what the harvest of a nation is. It is difficult to understand the reason of immigrating of the Latinos before one understands that they had no choice; almost all the South American countries were dominated by the United States of America: Salvador, Cuba, Puerto Rico, Guatemala and others. Some Latinos have emigrated because of uncertain political situation in their countries, for example, those who lived in Cuba immigrated to the United States of America because of the revolution or civil wars, as it was in Guatemala, Nicaragua and El Salvador. Others immigrated because they were needed on different American plants; they were needed to fill jobs; mostly it were those who came from Puerto Rico or Mexico. Such situation proves that the United States of America has become an
empire already in the end of the last century. The author claims that the Americans do not see their country as an empire and do not understand that all the Latinos have come there to work and make their new home prosper. Besides, the author has shown that the culture of the Latin Americans has greatly influenced the culture of the modern United States of America.
The book has become so popula that in 2012 a movie based on this book was released. The book is nonfiction, there is no action, but nevertheless, the movie was shot. Perhaps many people have asked themselves why the movie has become so popular and why was it shot. The point is that this book is about the United States of America as a multinational country and the Latinos are one of the biggest immigrant groups in the USA. It is proved that by the year 2050 there will be more than 133 million of Latinos living in the United Sates (compared to 47 million living nowadays). The most important purpose of this book is to show ordinary Americans that the Latinos have played a very important role in the development of the country. In turn, the government of the country does not value the Latin Americans as a part of the society; they do not have equal rights with the others. That is why, the author suggest more revolutionary methods of solving this situation: he claims that the government should change the situation with cheap Mexican labor and pay Mexicans and other Latinos as they deserve it; besides they should have right to speak their own language; the United States of America should end their militarism in South America, blockade in Cuba and Puerto Rico’s colonial status.
“They never teach us in school that the huge Latino presence here is a direct result of our own government’s actions in Mexico, the Caribbean and central America over many decades — actions that forced millions from that region to leave their homeland and journey north” (Gonzales, 2011, p84)
The book contains the stories of the Latinos immigrants that live in the United States of America nowadays. It is known that they do not feel happy to live not in their home country and besides the anti-immigrant movement grows fast from day to day, which makes the Latinos immigrants feel even worse. The book is focused on those countries that are situated closest to the United States and the reasons of massive migration of the Latinos from their home countries. The main purposes, the main aims of the book were listed and shown also in the movie:
- Challenge the negative stereotypes of Latino immigrants;
- Raise awareness about the true origins of the Latino presence in the United States
- Focus attention on the contributions of Latino immigrants to our society.
- Expose the harsh language being used to describe Latinos in the media.
- Develop a deeper understanding for the real life impact of the United States foreign policy.
To my mind, the author of this book has explained everything, the whole situation and the main problems that the modern USA society faces. This book was aimed to show that the Latinos have made a great impact on the modern life of the country, thus they deserve to have some rights and freedoms; they should not be humiliated. I agree to the author that the Latin Americans have become the greatest harvest for the United States; the Latin American became that power that has made an empire out of the USA. Many experts have tried to find in the book the origins of such mass migration from the countries of the South America to the United States of America, or what made them leave their homes and what cities and states they arrived first, how they established their communities and whether they were welcomed in the country and what they felt when they arrived and began to work. However, this was not the main purpose of the book; the book was aimed to outline the main problems of the Latinos. To my mind, all the minorities in such a country as the United States have such problems as Latinos have; and Latinos were chosen because they are the most numerous and perhaps this national minority lives the most in the USA. This book has not become very popular among politicians, although the author shows that they may change the situation to the better side; that government authorities may help the Latinos feel as they are home. In my opinion, native Americans should thank those who helped them to make the USA an empire, the most powerful country in the world; but the reality is that government authorities do not notice this problem and thus do not want to solve it. The book “Harvest of Empire: A History of Latinos in America” has shown that majority is nothing without minority and thanks to the military police of the United States according to the South America in the last century there are so many Latin immigrants in the country, which made it better and more influential.
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