Our America: A Hispanic History of the United States (W.W. Norton), by Felipe Fernández-Armesto
Spanish speakers established colonies and cities on lands that became part of the U.S. before Jonestown, Plymouth Rock and other steppingstones of English colonization. Our America tells the story of our country from a Latino perspective, shifting focus from the usual east-west march of history to the south-north trek that began with the conquistadores and continues through contemporary immigration debates. A history professor at Notre Dame, Felipe Fernández-Armesto acknowledges that British laws and institutions, not Spanish, were the models for the new republic, yet is persuasive on the important role of Latinos within the borders of the U.S. The author’s skill is to move easily between the panoramic and the particular, illustrating his analysis with lively anecdotes.