Latinos and the U.S. South
by José María Mantero
April 2008, 312pp, 6 1/8 x 9 1/4
1 volume, Praeger

Hardcover: 978-0-313-34510-4
$65, £50, 57€, A90
eBook Available: 978-0-313-34511-1
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The manner in which communities in the U.S. South are accomodating the most recent immigrants from Latin American nations forecasts the impact that these populations will have on other parts of the United States that are historically nontraditional areas of Latin American immigration.

In the last ten years, the growing Latino population in the United States has been attracting a great deal of attention that has focused on the social, political, economic, cultural, and linguistic transformations that communities across the country are undergoing due to the influx of Latin American immigrants. Particularly affected by these recent arrivals have been towns and cities that have been traditionally unaccustomed to significant numbers of foreign nationals in their area. Latinos and the U.S. South delves into the commonalities and dissimilarities between the varieties of Latino and U.S. Southern cultures, proposing that the manner in which these areas adapt to the challenges posed by the arrival of these most recent Hispanic residents heralds the present and future conduct of other communities receiving nontraditional Latino immigration in the United States today.

Through an analysis that incorporates historical research, existing legislation, and economic trends and statistics, and explores U.S. Southern and Latin American literatures, religious customs, the construction of a U.S. Southern identity, current events such as Hurricane Katrina, present tensions, and personal experience, Latinos and the U.S. South offers a window into how Latinos are adapting to an emblematic yet often overlooked region of the United States and the possible parallels between the two.


"As more and more Latinos move to the U.S. South for employment, it makes sense to understand the culture both of Latino countries and the South. This book does a great job of discussing the history and culture of these two separate entities. The author, an associate professor of Spanish… has a keen mind and sees things others would miss. ... Highly recommended."—MultiCultural Review, December 1, 2008

"Recently, and rapidly, increasing numbers of Latinos in the US South have caught the attention of academics. There has been a flush of studies investigating, for example, xenophobia in rural towns or the rise of births attributed to Latinos working to rebuild post-Katrina New Orleans. Bucking the trend, Mantero (Spanish, Xavier Univ.), the son of Spanish immigrants who moved to Georgia from Michigan when he was a child, explores centuries of Latin America's and the US South's parallel histories to contextualize current demographic changes historically, politically, and economically, demonstrating that Latino culture has deep, if largely forgotten, roots in this region. Mantero's project provides a unique perspective on, and an important challenge to, dominant narratives about Latino immigration in the US South. The introduction is engaging and personal, but the winding narrative, which draws heavily on secondary sources and includes many obscure details, is difficult to follow and poorly organized. Preparing for this book, Mantero spent time on the road, visiting Latinos of varied origins and socioeconomic status living across the South. These interviews are an invaluable contribution to later chapters, and should have been the core of a shorter, better-edited study. Recommended. Upper-division undergraduates and above.' "—Choice, May 1, 2009
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