El Norte: The Epic and Forgotten Story of Hispanic North America (Hardback)Carrie Gibson (author)
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For reasons of language and history, the United States has prized its Anglo heritage above all others. However, as Carrie Gibson explains with great depth and clarity in El Norte, America has much older Spanish roots - ones that have long been unacknowledged or marginalized. The Hispanic past of the United States predates the arrival of the Pilgrims by a century and has been every bit as important in shaping the nation as it exists today.
El Norte chronicles the sweeping and dramatic history of Hispanic North America from the arrival of the Spanish in the early 16th century to the present - from Ponce de Leon's initial landing in Florida in 1513 to Spanish control of the vast Louisiana territory in 1762 to the Mexican-American War in 1846 and up to the more recent tragedy of post-hurricane Puerto Rico and the ongoing border acrimony with Mexico. Interwoven in this stirring narrative of events and people are cultural issues that have been there from the start but which are unresolved to this day: language, belonging, community, race and nationality. Seeing them play out over centuries provides vital perspective at a time when it is urgently needed.
In 1883, Walt Whitman meditated on his country's Spanish past: 'We Americans have yet to really learn our own antecedents, and sort them, to unify them,' predicting that 'to that composite American identity of the future, Spanish character will supply some of the most needed parts.' That future is here, and El Norte, a stirring and eventful history in its own right, will have a powerful impact on our perception of the United States.
Publisher: Grove Press / Atlantic Monthly Press
Number of pages: 576
Weight: 1100 g
Dimensions: 240 x 165 x 45 mm
'Gibson's sprawling work makes a major contribution by reminding us of the falseness of Donald Trump's xenophobic narrative. Her rich account leaves no doubt that America is a vastly more interesting place because of the millions of Hispanic immigrants who have been arriving on our shores for more than 600 years.' - The Guardian
'El Norte is the book that Americans, Anglo and Hispanic, should read as an education on their own American place or role . . . This is a serious book of history but also an engaging project of reading the future in the past.' - New York Times Book Review
'[Gibson] writes engagingly of moments of violence and injustice, deprivation and discrimination, music and muses: Her paragraphs on the early-20th-century Texas society women who bickered over how to restore the Alamo, for instance, would do justice to the pen of an Edith Wharton.' - Wall Street Journal
'In this enlightening and exhaustively researched work, Carrie Gibson has accomplished the monumental task of recovering an extraordinary and consequential Hispanic past traditionally written out of American history. Her narrative is far reaching, vividly detailed, and a gift to assessing the American experience and evolving identity.' - Jack E. Davis, author of The Gulf, winner of the 2018 Pulitzer Prize for History
'Carrie Gibson has written an epic history which will significantly change the way we look at American history...Her research is meticulous in detail and her writing propels the reader through 500 years to today. So thorough is her work that I will be keeping El Norte on my bookshelf -- but pulling it down often to leaf through its pages.' - Richard Parker, author of Lone Star Nation
'A sweeping story of our Hispanic roots that links the dreamers of the Conquest with the Dreamers of the present, ranging across a continent's history from first contacts in Florida to intersecting empires on Vancouver Island. In connecting places across the United States with their Hispanic pasts, Carrie Gibson connects our America with what one Cuban called Nuestra America, blurring borders at a time when others are building them up.' - Paul Gillingham, author of Cuachtemoc's Bones