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In Search of Snow

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In the hot Arizona desert of the late 1950s, Mike McGurk comes of age in one big, riotous gush. Trapped pumping gas at a desolate roadstop, he yearns for things he has never known: love, hope, and the soft, white calmness of snow. Mike's world is filled with a menagerie of quirky characters, who cope with the weight of their unfulfilled dreams with bravado, humor, and violence. Mike trades snappy insults with his macho father, Texaco Turk McGurk, a moustachioed amateur boxer and self-proclaimed war hero who is unable to talk about love. Mike lusts after Lily, his seductive, poem-writing cousin. He cowers before and then confronts the vicious Ramses, grandson of Mr. Sneezy, the wisecracking Apache. And he is rescued by his best friend, Bobo, who delivers him into the care of the loving and generous Mama and Papa Garcia. In Search of Snow is an explosive coming-of-age adventure, full of hilarious episodes and still, poignant moments. Like a blue-collar Don Quixote, Mike must blow up his windmills before he can set off to find the things he lacks, especially the snow that will temper the passion he has just set aflame.
Published by University of Arizona Press on 07/22/1994
Book details: 258 pages.

Mañana Means Heaven

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In this love story of impossible odds, award-winning writer Tim Z. Hernandez weaves a rich and visionary portrait of Bea Franco, the real woman behind famed American author Jack Kerouac’s “The Mexican Girl.” Set against an ominous backdrop of California in the 1940s, deep in the agricultural heartland of the Great Central Valley, Mañana Means Heaven reveals the desperate circumstances that lead a married woman to an illicit affair with an aspiring young writer traveling across the United States. When they meet, Franco is a migrant farmworker with two children and a failing marriage, living with poverty, violence, and the looming threat of deportation, while the “college boy” yearns to one day make a name for himself in the writing world. The significance of their romance poses vastly different possibilities and consequences. Mañana Means Heaven deftly combines fact and fiction to pull back the veil on one of literature’s most mysterious and evocative characters. Inspired by Franco’s love letters to Kerouac and Hernandez’s interviews with Franco, now in her nineties and living in relative obscurity, the novel brings this lost gem of a story out of the shadows and into the spotlight.
Published by University of Arizona Press on 08/29/2013
Book details: 240 pages.

No More Kin

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Many scholars and political analysts assume that thriving kin and non-kin social support networks continue to characterize minority family life. Policy recommendations based on these underlying assumptions may lead to the implementation of harmful social policy. No More Kin examines extended kinship networks among African American, Chicano and Puerto-Rican families in the United States, and provides an integrated theoretical framework for examining how the simultaneity of gender, race and class oppression affects minority family organization.
Published by SAGE Publications on 04/17/1997
Book details: 256 pages.

House of Houses

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Combining poetic language and the traditions of magic realism to paint a vivid portrait of her family, Pat MoraÕs House of Houses is an unconventional memoir that reads as if every member, death notwithstanding, is in one room talking, laughing, and crying. In a salute to the Day of the Dead, the story begins with a visit to the cemetery in which all of her deceased relatives come alive to share stories of the family, literally bringing the food to their own funerals. From there the book covers a year in the life of her clan, revealing the personalities and events that Mora herself so desperately yearns to know and understand. ÒPoet MoraÕs complex and dramatic family history comprises more than personal reminiscences: it also embraces resonant aspects of Mexican American history. Mora recounts her familyÕs traumatic exodus from Mexico to escape the violence of Pancho Villa and his forces and their struggles to begin new lives in another country. To anchor her psychologically rich, dramatic, sometimes funny, often touching multigenerational tale, Mora uses the image of a houseÑthe house of housesÑduring a single year, a fruitful metaphor that allows her to dwell on the bright beauty of flowers, birds, and trees, emblems of the loving legacy of her nurturing family.ÓÑBooklist ÒMora has created an ingenious structure for these recollections of her extended family, of their lives and the tales they share about the familyÕs history. Woven in with these memories are recipes, fragments of songs and poetry, folk remedies, and jokes, all of the small matters that most reveal a familyÕs identity. In a language deftly mingling the natural cadences of speech and precise, poetic imagery, Mora believably summons up both a group of tough, loving, idiosyncratic survivors and a vivid, detailed portrait of life in the Southwest in [the last] century.Ó ÑKirkus Reviews
Author: Pat Mora
Published by University of Arizona Press on 07/22/2019
Book details: 298 pages.

Bolivia's Radical Tradition

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In December 2005, following a series of convulsive upheavals that saw the overthrow of two presidents in three years, Bolivian peasant leader Evo Morales became the first Indian president in South American history. Consequently, according to S. S‡ndor John, Bolivia symbolizes new shifts in Latin America, pushed by radical social movements of the poor, the dispossessed, and indigenous people once crossed off the maps of ÒofficialÓ history. But, as John explains, Bolivian radicalism has a distinctive genealogy that does not fit into ready-made patterns of the Latin American left. According to its author, this book grew out of a desire to answer nagging questions about this unusual place. Why was Bolivia home to the most persistent and heroically combative labor movement in the Western Hemisphere? Why did this movement take root so deeply and so stubbornly? What does the distinctive radical tradition of Trotskyism in Bolivia tell us about the past fifty years there, and what about the explosive developments of more recent years? To answer these questions, John clearly and carefully pieces together a fragmented past to show a part of Latin American radical history that has been overlooked for far too long. Based on years of research in archives and extensive interviews with labor, peasant, and student activistsÑas well as Chaco War veterans and prominent political figuresÑthe book brings together political, social, and cultural history, linking the origins of Bolivian radicalism to events unfolding today in the country that calls itself Òthe heart of South America.Ó
Published by University of Arizona Press on 07/22/2019
Book details: 317 pages.

Animal Oppression and Human Violence

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Jared Diamond and other leading scholars have argued that the domestication of animals for food, labor, and tools of war has advanced the development of human society. But by comparing practices of animal exploitation for food and resources in different societies over time, David A. Nibert reaches a strikingly different conclusion. He finds in the domestication of animals, which he renames "domesecration," a perversion of human ethics, the development of large-scale acts of violence, disastrous patterns of destruction, and growth-curbing epidemics of infectious disease. Nibert centers his study on nomadic pastoralism and the development of commercial ranching, a practice that has been largely controlled by elite groups and expanded with the rise of capitalism. Beginning with the pastoral societies of the Eurasian steppe and continuing through to the exportation of Western, meat-centered eating habits throughout today's world, Nibert connects the domesecration of animals to violence, invasion, extermination, displacement, enslavement, repression, pandemic chronic disease, and hunger. In his view, conquest and subjugation were the results of the need to appropriate land and water to maintain large groups of animals, and the gross amassing of military power has its roots in the economic benefits of the exploitation, exchange, and sale of animals. Deadly zoonotic diseases, Nibert shows, have accompanied violent developments throughout history, laying waste to whole cities, societies, and civilizations. His most powerful insight situates the domesecration of animals as a precondition for the oppression of human populations, particularly indigenous peoples, an injustice impossible to rectify while the material interests of the elite are inextricably linked to the exploitation of animals. Nibert links domesecration to some of the most critical issues facing the world today, including the depletion of fresh water, topsoil, and oil reserves; global warming; and world hunger, and he reviews the U.S. government's military response to the inevitable crises of an overheated, hungry, resource-depleted world. Most animal-advocacy campaigns reinforce current oppressive practices, Nibert argues. Instead, he suggests reforms that challenge the legitimacy of both domesecration and capitalism.
Published by Columbia University Press on 05/07/2013
Book details: 352 pages.

Silent Victims

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Hate crimes against Native Americans are a common occurrence, Barbara Perry reveals, although most go unreported. In this eye-opening book, Perry shines a spotlight on these acts, which are often hidden in the shadows of crime reports. She argues that scholarly and public attention to the historical and contemporary victimization of Native Americans as tribes or nations has blinded both scholars and citizens alike to the victimization of individual Native Americans. It is these acts against individuals that capture her attention. Silent Victims is a unique contribution to the literature on hate crime. Because most extant literature treats hate crimesÑeven racial violenceÑrather generically, this work breaks new ground with its findings. For this book, Perry interviewed nearly 300 Native Americans and gathered additional data in three geographic areas: the Four Corners region of the U.S. Southwest, the Great Lakes, and the Northern Plains. In all of these locales, she found that bias-related crime oppresses and segregates Native Americans. Perry is well aware of the history of colonization in North America and its attendant racial violence. She argues that the legacy of violence today can be traced directly to the genocidal practices of early settlers, and she adds valuable insights into the ways in which ÒIndiansÓ have been constructed as the Other by the prevailing culture. PerryÕs interviews with Native Americans recount instances of appalling treatment, often at the hands of law enforcement officials. In her conclusion, Perry draws from her research and interviews to suggest ways in which Native Americans can be empowered to defend themselves against all forms of racist victimization.
Published by University of Arizona Press on 07/22/2019
Book details: 155 pages.

Complicity

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Slavery in the South has been documented in volumes ranging from exhaustive histories to bestselling novels. But the North’s profit from–indeed, dependence on–slavery has mostly been a shameful and well-kept secret . . . until now. In this startling and superbly researched new book, three veteran New England journalists demythologize the region of America known for tolerance and liberation, revealing a place where thousands of people were held in bondage and slavery was both an economic dynamo and a necessary way of life. Complicity reveals the cruel truth about the Triangle Trade of molasses, rum, and slaves that lucratively linked the North to the West Indies and Africa; discloses the reality of Northern empires built on profits from rum, cotton, and ivory–and run, in some cases, by abolitionists; and exposes the thousand-acre plantations that existed in towns such as Salem, Connecticut. Here, too, are eye-opening accounts of the individuals who profited directly from slavery far from the Mason-Dixon line–including Nathaniel Gordon of Maine, the only slave trader sentenced to die in the United States, who even as an inmate of New York’s infamous Tombs prison was supported by a shockingly large percentage of the city; Patty Cannon, whose brutal gang kidnapped free blacks from Northern states and sold them into slavery; and the Philadelphia doctor Samuel Morton, eminent in the nineteenth-century field of “race science,” which purported to prove the inferiority of African-born black people. Culled from long-ignored documents and reports–and bolstered by rarely seen photos, publications, maps, and period drawings–Complicity is a fascinating and sobering work that actually does what so many books pretend to do: shed light on America’s past. Expanded from the celebrated Hartford Courant special report that the Connecticut Department of Education sent to every middle school and high school in the state (the original work is required readings in many college classrooms,) this new book is sure to become a must-read reference everywhere. From the Hardcover edition.
Published by Ballantine Books on 12/18/2007
Book details: 304 pages.

The Triumph of Seeds

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"The genius of Hanson's fascinating, inspiring, and entertaining book stems from the fact that it is not about how all kinds of things grow from seeds; it is about the seeds themselves." --Mark Kurlansky, New York Times Book Review We live in a world of seeds. From our morning toast to the cotton in our clothes, they are quite literally the stuff and staff of life: supporting diets, economies, and civilizations around the globe. Just as the search for nutmeg and pepper drove the Age of Discovery, coffee beans fueled the Enlightenment and cottonseed sparked the Industrial Revolution. Seeds are fundamental objects of beauty, evolutionary wonders, and simple fascinations. Yet, despite their importance, seeds are often seen as commonplace, their extraordinary natural and human histories overlooked. Thanks to this stunning new book, they can be overlooked no more. This is a book of knowledge, adventure, and wonder, spun by an award-winning writer with both the charm of a fireside story-teller and the hard-won expertise of a field biologist. A fascinating scientific adventure, it is essential reading for anyone who loves to see a plant grow.
Author: Thor Hanson
Published by Basic Books on 03/24/2015
Book details: 288 pages.

Brides and Sinners in El Chuco

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Brides have their dreams, sinners their secrets, but sometimes itÕs not so easy to tell them apart. In the border town of El PasoÑbetter known to its Mexican American residents as El ChucoÑdramas unfold in humdrum households every day as working-class men come home from their jobs and as their wives and children do their best to cope with life. Christine Granados now plumbs the heart of this community in fourteen startling stories, uncovering the dreams and secrets in which ordinary people sometimes lose themselves. Many fictional accounts of barrio life play up tradition and nostalgia; Brides and Sinners in El Chuco is a trip to the darker side. Here are memories of growing up in a place where innocence is always tempered by realityÑtrue-to-life stories, told in authentic language, of young women, from preteens to twenty-somethings, learning to negotiate their way through troubled times and troubled families. In the award-winning story ÒThe Bride,Ó a young girl recalls her sister as a perennial bride on Halloween, planning for her eventual big day in a pink notebook with lists of potential husbands, only to see her dream thwarted at the junior prom. In another, we meet Bobbi, the class slut, whose D-cup chest astounds the other girls and entices everyoneÑeven those who shouldnÕt be tempted. GranadosÕ tales boldly portray womenÕs struggle for solidarity in the face of male abuse, and as these characters come to grips with self-discovery, sibling rivalry, and dysfunctional relationships, she shows what it means for Chicanas to grow up in protective families while learning to survive in the steamy border environment. Brides and Sinners in El Chuco is an uncompromising look at life with all its hard edgesÑtold with enough softness to make readers come back for more.
Published by University of Arizona Press on 07/22/2019
Book details: 120 pages.
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