Latino America: How America's Most Dynamic Population is Poised to Transform the Politics of the Nation

Matt Barreto and Gary Segura. Public Affairs, $26.99 (304p) ISBN 978-1-61039-501-4
Few demographic changes have exercised the American political mind as much as the inexorable rise of Latino America, and Barreto and Segura's masterful work of social science is a clear and sober-minded analyses of this complex subject. As cofounders of the nonpartisan research firm Latino Decisions, they use their expertise to corral mountains of data into a coherent narrative about the Latino influence on U.S. politics. Purely as a statistical resource, the book is invaluable, but it shines brightest when addressing–and refuting– received wisdom, such as that Latinos are "single issue voters" and a "naturally conservative" constituency ripe for Republican appeals. Bolstered with contributions from other Latino Decisions analysts, Barreto and Segura add nuance and context to an often one-sided discussion. Their topics include the effect of religiosity on voting patterns, and the history of how California became a reliably Democratic bastion. The book is particularly illuminating toward the complex role played by immigration politics. It does occasionally suffer from stale writing, but Barreto and Segura's lucid analysis is worth the price of admission. (Sept.)
Reviewed on: 08/11/2014
Release date: 09/01/2014
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