The Hispanic Republican: The Shaping of an American Political Identity, from Nixon to Trump

Geraldo Cadava. Ecco, $29.99 (448p) ISBN 978-0-06-294634-8
Northwestern University history professor Cadava (Standing on Common Ground) offers an evenhanded and exhaustive analysis of how the Republican Party built its base of Hispanic support. Noting that Republican presidential candidates have won roughly one-third of the Hispanic vote in every election since 1972, Cadava explores efforts to align Hispanic and Republican priorities on Puerto Rican statehood, sanctions against Cuba, and the flow of undocumented immigrants across the U.S.-Mexico border. He profiles such activists as Benjamin “Boxcar Ben” Fernandez, cofounder of the Republican National Hispanic Assembly; notes examples of political patronage, including the appointments of three Mexican American women as U.S. treasurer; and documents the impact of the Elián González case on the 2000 Bush-Gore election. In a brisk final chapter, Cadava addresses a 2013 Republican National Committee report urging the party to expand its base by supporting a path to citizenship for undocumented immigrants, and the refusal of many Hispanic Republicans to “turn their backs” on President Trump, in spite of his nativist rhetoric and policies. Deep dives into committees, campaigns, referendums, and polling data sometimes make for a ponderous reading experience but deliver a wealth of insights. This granular account offers essential context on a voting bloc with an outsize influence on American politics. (May)
Reviewed on : 02/26/2020
Release date: 05/01/2020
Genre: Nonfiction
Ebook - 400 pages - 978-0-06-294636-2
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