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Hispanic American Studies

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  1. 8.6 hrs • 9/13/2016 • Unabridged

    For an undocumented immigrant, what is the true cost of the American Dream? Julissa Arce shares her story in a riveting memoir. When she was 11 years old Julissa Arce left Mexico and came to the United States on a tourist visa to be reunited with her parents, who dreamed the journey would secure her a better life. When her visa expired at the age of 15, she became an undocumented immigrant. Thus began her underground existence, a decades long game of cat and mouse, tremendous family sacrifice, and fear of exposure. After the Texas Dream Act made a college degree possible, Julissa’s top grades and leadership positions landed her an internship at Goldman Sachs, which led to a full time position—one of the most coveted jobs on Wall Street. Soon she was a Vice President, a rare Hispanic woman in a sea of suits and ties, yet still guarding her “underground” secret. In telling her personal story of separation, grief, and ultimate redemption, Arce shifts the immigrant conversation, and changes the perception of what it means to be an undocumented immigrant.

    Available Formats: Download, CD

    My (Underground) American Dream

    8.6 hrs • 9/13/16 • Unabridged
    Also: CD
  2. 8.3 hrs • 12/16/2014 • Unabridged

    In Breaking In, veteran journalist Joan Biskupic tells the story of how two forces providentially merged—the large ambitions of a talented Puerto Rican girl raised in the projects in the Bronx and the increasing political presence of Hispanics, from California to Texas, from Florida to the Northeast—resulting in a historical appointment. And this is not just a tale about breaking barriers as a Puerto Rican. It’s about breaking barriers as a justice. As a Supreme Court justice, Sonia Sotomayor has shared her personal story to an unprecedented degree. And that story—of a Latina who emerged from tough times in the projects not only to prevail but also to rise to the top—has even become fabric for some of her most passionate comments on matters before the Court. But there is yet more to know about the rise of Sotomayor. Breaking In offers the larger, untold story of the woman who has been called “the people’s justice.”

    Available Formats: Download

    Breaking In

    8.3 hrs • 12/16/14 • Unabridged
  3. 6.8 hrs • 12/2/2014

    Four undocumented Mexican American students, two great teachers, one robot-building contest … and a major motion picture.  In 2004 four Latino teenagers arrived at the Marine Advanced Technology Education Robotics Competition at the University of California–Santa Barbara. They were born in Mexico but raised in Phoenix, Arizona, where they attended an underfunded public high school. No one had ever suggested to Oscar, Cristian, Luis, or Lorenzo that they might amount to much. But two inspiring science teachers had convinced these impoverished, undocumented kids from the desert who had never even seen the ocean that they should try to build an underwater robot. And build a robot they did. Their robot wasn’t pretty, especially compared to those of the competition. They were going up against some of the best collegiate engineers in the country, including a team from MIT backed by a $10,000 grant from ExxonMobil. The Phoenix teenagers had scraped together less than $1,000 and built their robot out of scavenged parts. This was never a level competition—and yet, against all odds … they won!  But this is just the beginning for these four, whose story will go on to include first-generation college graduations, deportation, bean-picking in Mexico, and service in Afghanistan. Joshua Davis’s Spare Parts is a story about overcoming insurmountable odds and four young men who proved they were among the most patriotic and talented Americans in this country—even as the country tried to kick them out.

    Available Formats: Download

    Spare Parts

    6.8 hrs • 12/2/14
  4. 9.2 hrs • 5/6/2014 • Unabridged

    They came from one street, but death found them in many places: in a distant jungle, a frozen forest, and trapped in the flaming wreckage of a bomber blown from the sky. One died going over a fence during the greatest paratrooper assault in history. Another fell in the biggest battle of World War II. Yet another was riddled with bullets in an audacious act of heroism during a decisive onslaught a world away. All came from a single street in a railroad town called Silvis, Illinois—a tiny stretch of dirt barely a block-and-a-half long with an unparalleled history. The twenty-two Mexican-American families who lived on that one street sent fifty-seven of their children to fight in World War II and Korea—more than any other place that size anywhere in the country. Eight of those children died. It’s a distinction recognized by the Department of Defense, and it earned that rutted, unpaved strip a distinguished name. Today it’s known as Hero Street. This is the story of those brave men and their families, how they fought both in battle and to be accepted in an American society that remained biased against them even after they returned home as heroes. Based on interviews with relatives, friends, and soldiers who served alongside the men, as well as personal letters and photographs, The Ghosts of Hero Street is the compelling and inspiring account of a street of soldiers—and men—who would not be denied their dignity or their honor.

    Available Formats: Download

    The Ghosts of Hero Street

    9.2 hrs • 5/6/14 • Unabridged
  5. 8.8 hrs • 7/15/2012 • Unabridged

    The author of Across the Wire offers brilliant investigative reporting of what went wrong when, in May 2001, a group of twenty-six men attempted to cross the Mexican border into the desert of southern Arizona. Only twelve men came back out.

    Available Formats: Download

    The Devil’s Highway

    8.8 hrs • 7/15/12 • Unabridged
  6. 8.2 hrs • 5/9/2012 • Unabridged

    Tan pronto entré al cuarto para mi primera entrevista con los productores de Dancing with the Stars, uno de ellos dijo, “¿Por qué no estás bailando?” Miré a mi alrededor. No había música. “Perdón, ¿Entré cuando no debía?” No tenía la más remota idea de qué estaban hablando. Todos se rieron, y me explicaron, “Tú eres Latino, así que creíamos que ibas a entrar bailando!” Esta experiencia fue la que me puso a pensar acerca de los estereotipos Latinos, y luego inició el camino para escribir este libro. Uno de cada seis Americanos es Latino, por lo tanto los Americanos necesitan entender mejor las verdades y mitos de sus “a veces calientes, muchas veces apasionados y en su mayoría no-ilegales” vecinos Latinos. Para empezar, un mito está confirmado: No todos los Latinos saben bailar.

    Available Formats: Download
  7. 10.6 hrs • 11/1/2011 • Unabridged

    By age twelve, Luis Rodriguez was a veteran of East Los Angeles gang warfare. Lured by a seemingly invincible gang culture, he witnessed countless shootings, beatings, and arrests and then watched with increasing fear as gang life claimed friends and family members. Before long, Rodriguez saw a way out of the barrio through education and the power of words and successfully broke free from years of violence and desperation. Achieving success as an award-winning poet, he was sure the streets would haunt him no more, until his young son joined a gang. Rodriguez fought for his child by telling his own story in Always Running, a vivid memoir that explores the motivations of gang life and cautions against the death and destruction that inevitably claim its participants. At times heartbreakingly sad and brutal, Always Running is ultimately an uplifting true story, filled with hope, insight, and a hard-earned lesson for the next generation.

    Available Formats: Download

    Always Running

    10.6 hrs • 11/1/11 • Unabridged
  8. 5.4 hrs • 7/5/2007 • Unabridged

    Acclaimed historians Theda Perdue and Michael D. Green paint a moving portrait of the infamous Trail of Tears. Despite protests from statesmen like Davy Crockett, Daniel Webster, and Henry Clay, a dubious 1838 treaty drives 17,000 mostly Christian Cherokee from their lush Appalachian homeland to barren plains beyond the Mississippi. For 4,000, this brutal forced march leads only to their death.

    Available Formats: Download
  9. 8.8 hrs • 6/15/2007 • Unabridged

    An irreverent, hilarious, and informative look at Mexican American culture is taken by a rising star in the alternative media, as well as a new kid on the block in such mainstream venues as NPR, the Los Angeles Times, Today, and The Colbert Report. Gustavo Arellano has compiled the best questions about Mexican Americans from readers of his Ask a Mexican! column in California’s OC Weekly and uses them to explore the clichés of lowriders, busboys, and housekeepers; drunks and scoundrels; heroes and celebrities; and most important, millions upon millions of law-abiding, patriotic American citizens and their illegal-immigrant cousins who represent some $600 billion in economic power.

    Available Formats: Download

    Ask a Mexican

    8.8 hrs • 6/15/07 • Unabridged
  10. 8.2 hrs • 1/1/2005 • Unabridged

    In a series of ten essays spanning the five centuries of history, from Cortés’ conquest of Mexico to San Francisco’s AIDS epidemic, Rodriguez explores the conflicts of race, religion, and cultural identity for Mexican-Americans across the landscape of his beloved California—as well as the impact this history had on him. Rodriguez positions Mexico and the United States as moral rivals—Mexico wearing the mask of tragedy; the United States, the mask of comedy. By the end, however, we come to recognize a historical irony: the United States is becoming a culture of tragedy, while Mexico is reveling in youthful optimism as the two nations are trading roles.

    Available Formats: Download, CD, MP3 CD, Digital Rental
    Days of Obligation by Richard Rodriguez

    Days of Obligation

    8.2 hrs • 1/1/06 • Unabridged
    Also: CD, MP3 CD, Digital Rental
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