Latinos in the American Political System
An Encyclopedia of Latinos as Voters, Candidates, and Office Holders
by Jessica L. Lavariega Monforti, Editor
March 2019, 688pp, 7x10
2 volumes, ABC-CLIO

Hardcover: 978-1-4408-5346-3
$208, £160, 181€, A285
eBook Available: 978-1-4408-5347-0
Please contact your preferred eBook vendor for pricing.

In 2015, the U.S. population included 37.1 million American-born Latinos—32 million more than in 1960, when the U.S.-born Latino population stood at 5.5 million.

This encyclopedia provides a comprehensive overview of the evolution of Hispanic Americans engaged in U.S. politics, from increased visibility as governors and other lawmakers at the local, state, and federal levels to their growing importance as a voting constituency.

This encyclopedia comprehensively surveys the evolution of Latina/o engagement in US politics as voters, candidates, lawmakers, and public officials. It is an authoritative resource for public library patrons, high school students, and undergraduates in a variety of curricular studies, including political science, civics, American history, and Latino studies.

The set’s A–Z entries were carefully selected and crafted to ensure thorough coverage of all of the individuals, organizations, cultural forces, political issues, and legal decisions that have combined to elevate the role of Latinos at the polls, on the campaign trail, in Washington, and in mayors’ offices, city councils, school boards, and statehouses all across the country. In-depth essays on the rising prominence of Latino Americans as voters, candidates, public officials, lawmakers, and opinion leaders will provide further context for understanding their impact on modern U.S. political processes and institutions from the perspective of liberals and conservatives alike.


  • Features two dozen primary documents, including illuminating sources provided both in the original Spanish and in English translations
  • Contains approximately 300 encyclopedia entries
  • Gives special attention to the significant diversity of the Latino population in the United States, with a focus on growing communities of Central American and Dominican origin as well as groups of Mexican, Puerto Rican, and Cuban origin
  • Provides context in historical overview essays that focus specifically on Latino population in their roles as voters and citizens, candidates, and lawmakers in American life
  • Includes a chronology of events concerning the evolution of Latino American involvement in U.S. politics
Jessica L. Lavariega Monforti is dean of the College of Arts and Sciences at California Lutheran University. She received her PhD from The Ohio State University. Her research primarily focuses on the differential impact of public policy according to race, gender, and ethnicity. She has worked with organizations such as Texas RioGrande Legal Aid, La Unión del Pueblo Entero, and the South Texas Adult Resource and Training Center. Dr. Lavariega Monforti has coauthored two books, published more than 50 articles and chapters, and been featured in The New York Times and La Opinión and on NPR’s All Things Considered.


LJ Best Reference of 2019—Library Journal, March 1, 2020


"This authoritative, accessible work not only answers questions but also provides a variety of perspectives about future Latinx political trends. For general readers, high school students, and undergraduates."—Library Journal, June 30, 2019

"Overall, this is an excellent, informative, and topical resource appropriate for academic, high school, and public libraries."—Booklist Online, September 13, 2019

"Recommended. Lower-division undergraduates through faculty."—Choice, September 1, 2019

"Libraries serving high school and undergraduate populations will find this reference tool a useful entry point into the subject matter."—ARBA, August 1, 2019
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