50 Events That Shaped Latino History
An Encyclopedia of the American Mosaic
by Lilia Fernández, Editor
March 2018, 1026pp, 7x10
2 volumes, Greenwood

Hardcover: 978-1-4408-3762-3
$198, 165€, A283
eBook Available: 978-1-4408-3763-0
Please contact your preferred eBook vendor for pricing.

Americans may be surprised to learn that Spanish was the first European language spoken in North America. In fact, Spanish settlements preceded the first settlements of the English by over 100 years.

Which historical events were key to shaping Latino culture? This book provides coverage of the 50 most pivotal developments over 500 years that have shaped the Latino experience, offering primary sources, biographies of notable figures, and suggested readings for inquiry.

Latinos—people of European, Indigenous, and African descent—have had a presence in North America long before the first British settlements arrived to the Eastern seaboard. The encounters between Spanish colonizers and the native peoples of the Americas initiated 500 years of a rich and vibrant history—an intermingled, cultural evolution that continues today in the 21st century.

50 Events that Shaped Latino History: An Encyclopedia of the American Mosaic is a valuable reference that provides a chronological overview of Latino/a history beginning with the indigenous populations of the Americas through the present day. It is divided into time period, such as Pre-Colonial Era to Spanish Empire, pre-1521–1810, and covers a variety of themes relevant to the time period, making it easy for the reader find information.

The coverage offers readers background on critical events that have shaped Latino/a populations, revealed the conditions and experiences of Latinos, or highlighted their contributions to U.S. society. The text addresses events as varied as the U.S.-Mexican War to the rise of Latin jazz. The entries present a balance of political and cultural events, social developments, legal cases, and broader trends. Each entry has a chronology, a main narrative, biographies of notable figures, and suggested further readings, as well as one or more primary sources that offer additional context or information on the given event. These primary source materials offer readers additional insight via a first-hand account, original voices, or direct evidence on the subject matter.


  • Offers scholarly analysis of critical events in Latino/a history while also providing in-depth primary sources, biographies, and evidence that provide additional historical perspective
  • Represents an invaluable reference tool for students doing research papers, seeking accessibly written background information, or simply wanting to learn more about Latinos in the United States
  • Written by expert contributors with specialties in a variety of key fields—media, politics, history, and popular culture
  • Supplies breadth and depth on significant events that have shaped the Latino experience for the past five centuries
Lilia Fernández, PhD, is the Henry Rutgers Term Chair in the Departments of Latino and Caribbean Studies and History at Rutgers University, New Brunswick, NJ. She is the author of Brown in the Windy City: Mexicans and Puerto Ricans in Postwar Chicago as well as numerous book chapters, journal articles, and essays on Latino/a history. She received her doctorate in ethnic studies at the University of California, San Diego; a master's degree from the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign; and her bachelor's degree from Harvard University.


"College and secondary school libraries will find the volumes useful for students and undergraduates. Public libraries above all would probably be interested in having the volumes available as a reference work for the nonspecialist reader curious to learn more."—ARBA, July 3, 2018
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