Mongrels, Bastards, Orphans, and Vagabonds

Mexican Immigration and the Future of Race in America

Publisher: Vintage
An unprecedented account of the long-term cultural and political influences that Mexican-Americans will have on the collective character of our nation.In considering the largest immigrant group in American history, Gregory Rodriguez examines the complexities of its heritage and of the racial and cultural synthesis--mestizaje--that has defined the Mexican people since the Spanish conquest in the sixteenth century. He persuasively argues that the rapidly expanding Mexican American integration into the mainstream is changing not only how Americans think about race but also how we envision our nation. Brilliantly reasoned, highly thought provoking, and as historically sound as it is anecdotally rich, Mongrels, Bastards, Orphans, and Vagabonds is a major contribution to the discussion of the cultural and political future of the United States.


Chapter One: The Birth of a PeopleOn February 10, 1519, Hernán Cortés, along with a crew of roughly five hundred men and a handful of women, sailed west from Cuba to explore the Mexican mainland. Two previous Spanish expeditions had already reached the eastern coast of Mexico where they had heard stories...
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“A fascinating excursion through the history of Mexican immigrants in the United States, full of instructive revelations and forgotten facts.” —The Washington Post Book World “Brilliant. . . . Politically savvy and enchanting.”—Los Angeles Times“Riveting. . . . A thought- provoking account of current-day Mexican Americans and their forefathers.”—The San Antonio Express-News“Required reading for anybody interested in the future of the United States. . . . The best available account of the origins, history, ideas, and aspirations of Mexican-Americans.”—Foreign Affairs