Spanish-Americans: Lives and Faces

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Spanish-Americans: Lives and Faces By Most Rev. David Arias Trafford Publishing, Victoria, BC, Canada 2005, 268 pages, $21.26

Most Rev. David Arias, a native of Spain and auxiliary bishop emeritus of Newark, New Jersey, has compiled 100 biographies and portraits of great figures of Hispanic background who have made a notable contribution to what is now the United States. Traditional historical personages such as Christopher Columbus, Juan Ponce de Leon and Father Junipero Serra make their appearances, as well as modern-day figures such as Cesar Chavez and Pablo Casals. There are some surprises, such as actor Anthony (Antonio) Quinn Qaxaca, born in Mexico to an Irish mother and Mexican father.

The book also includes brief profiles of other great persons of Hispanic heritage who merit being remembered.

The book is a worthwhile effort. The material is simple, understandable and can be very useful in learning about the achievements of the Hispanic culture in Latin-American countries as well as in the United States.

Our overall impression of the book is good. It is easy reading and it motivates the interested reader to search for the origins of the Spanish legacy in the New World. The reader can become acquainted with the distinguished individuals who made possible wonderful deeds, sometimes under very harsh circumstances. …