Latinos in the American Political System: An Encyclopedia of Latinos as Voters, Candidates, and Office Holders ABC-CLIO, 2v. 2019 $218
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Title overview: (Publisher website)
Publisher description: This encyclopedia comprehensively surveys the evolution of Latina/o engagement in US politics as voters, candidates, lawmakers, and public officials. It is an authoritative resource for public library patrons, high school students, and undergraduates in a variety of curricular studies, including political science, civics, American history, and Latino studies.
The set's A–Z entries were carefully selected and crafted to ensure thorough coverage of all of the individuals, organizations, cultural forces, political issues, and legal decisions that have combined to elevate the role of Latinos at the polls, on the campaign trail, in Washington, and in mayors' offices, city councils, school boards, and statehouses all across the country. In-depth essays on the rising prominence of Latino Americans as voters, candidates, public officials, lawmakers, and opinion leaders will provide further context for understanding their impact on modern U.S. political processes and institutions from the perspective of liberals and conservatives alike.
Booklist (2019: Latinxs are an increasingly decisive presence in American politics, both as voters and as elected officials. So this new set, edited by a scholar who studies the representation and incorporation of Latinxs in American politics, is well-timed. The contributors come from a variety of social science fields, including ethnic studies, anthropology, and American studies. Alphabetically arranged entries make up the bulk of the two volumes, and generally consist of biographical sketches, descriptions of political organizations, and seminal legislation and court decisions. These entries are concise—generally one to four pages—and are followed by suggestions for further reading, which range from government and organizational web pages to popular media publications to scholarly journals. A helpful thematic index is included with headings like Activists and Organizers and Media and Journalists. Controversial entries are inevitable, like the DREAM Act (Development, Relief, and Education for Alien Minors), discussed on both the federal and state levels; Affordable Care Act (ACA) and Latinos; and the Border Wall. Such entries include statistics and data and are presented in a non-partisan and fair fashion. For example, the entry on ACA concedes that although the uninsured rate decline dramatically under Obamacare, Latinx populations remain disproportionately uninsured. Broader topics like discrimination and education are also tackled. Other features include a chronology and four long essays (ten to twelve pages) on Latinx mayors, voter turnout, and state and federal Hispanic elected officials. Overall, this is an excellent, informative, and topical resource appropriate for academic, high school, and public libraries.
CHOICE (2019): With a record number of Latinxs eligible to vote in the 2018 midterm elections, and Latinx office holders gaining prominent visibility at the state and federal level (Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez anyone?), it is no surprise that Latinx voters have become central to discussions around the American political system. For students tackling research projects in this area, this work provides a strong backbone of reference entries even though its scope does not include the 2018 midterm elections. The 240 entries (averaging a page in length) encapsulated in this two-volume work focus on government and elected officials, court decisions, political newspapers, past and present political organizations, recent election analyses, and thematic topics, for example, “Military Participation and Latinos” and “Politics of Latina/o Immigrants and Transnational Ties.” The content is grounded in entries that cover historical political events, newspapers, and political leaders. Authors include current college students, graduate students, and more established scholars. Each entry includes a list of further readings that unfortunately include a number of documents that exist solely as online web pages likely to break in the near future. In addition to entries, the encyclopedia includes a chronology, four longer-form essays, an appendix of Latinx organizations, and twenty well-selected primary documents that include speeches, testimonies, and resolutions. Summing Up: Recommended. Lower-division undergraduates through faculty.