Everything You Need to Know about Latino History

Front Cover
Plume, 1994 - Hispanic Americans - 334 pages
5 Reviews
"You're at home eating a fajita for dinner. Your Linda Ronstadt CD has just finished playing, so maybe you'll tune in to your local PBS station to watch a documentary on the historic significance of the Spanish-American War, catch Henry Cisneros discussing urban housing on the news program, or read a favorite book- perhaps the latest by Julia Alvarez. Latino culture, personalities, history are all around us, and despite the fact that Latinos represent the largest growing minority in the United States, most people are woefully uninformed as to the impact the multilayered Latino culture has had on American life. Now, in a lively and readable question-answer format, Cuban-born writer Himilce Novas chronicles the contributions of Spaniards, Mexicans, Puerto Ricans, Cubans, Dominicans, and Central and South Americans, whose cultures have given us everything from chocolates to chile peppers, from mambos to machismo, and from Desi Arnaz to Oscar Hijuelos. Shattering myths and stereotypes, providing factual information and enlightenment, this fascinating and accessible reference answers such intriguing questions as: If Columbus was Italian, why do Hispanics celebrate Columbus Day? What are the Halls of Montezuma, anyway? Are Irish potatoes a gift from the Inca? How did Havana come to be swapped for Florida? Who were the great women in Latino history? Does bilingual education mean we'll all be speaking Spanish soon? Why should we remember the Alamo, anyway? and hundreds more ..."--Back cover.

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Review: Everything You Need to Know About Latino History: 2008 Edition

User Review  - Mikki Ibarra - Goodreads

I actually loved this book. Okay, granted, like some other reviews it was poorly organized, however, it was still informative, fun, and in respectful disagreement with some reviewers that said that ... Read full review

Review: Everything You Need to Know About Latino History: 2003 Edition

User Review  - Richie Miranda - Goodreads

Good read, it has a lot of information concerning the breakdown of the different Latino cultures known throughout the world. It gives a good understanding of the different influences within these cultures. Read full review


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About the author (1994)

Novas is the author of numerous works of fiction and non-fiction. Her fiction works include Mangos, Bananas and Coconuts: A Cuban Love Story (Arte Pblico Press, 1996; Riverhead/Penguin, 1997 paperback) and Princess Papaya (Arte Publico Press, 2005). Among her works of non-fiction are the popular Everything You Need to Know About Latino History (Plume/Penguin 1994;1997;2003); Latin American Cooking Across the USA (Knopf, 1997); La Buena Mesa (Knopf, 1997); Latino Art and Culture in the United States (The National Museum of American Art, Smithsonian Institution, 1996); Everything You Need to Know about Asian American History (Plume/Penguin, 1996; 2003 ); The Hispanic 100: A Ranking of the Latino Men and Women Who Have Most Influenced American Thought and Culture (Citadel Press, 1995); Remembering Selena: A Tribute in Pictures and Words / Recordando a Selena: Un tributo en palabras y fotos (St. Martin's Press, 1995).

Himilce Novas has taught literature and writing as visiting author at vatious colleges and universities, among them the University of California at Santa Barbara (UCSB), Wellesley College and Tulane University and continues to speak on Latino history and culture at colleges across the country. She spans both coasts and currently resides in the West.

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