Carlos B. Gil

BOOK TITLE: We Became Mexican American: How Our Immigrant Family Survived to Pursue the American Dream 1. It was fantastic! I was so drawn in and fascinated with the stories of his family and all they went through. I’m so glad to have gotten that glimpse into his family’s journey and a better understanding of the lives of some immigrants. Mary McLaughlin Sta.Maria, Assistant Librarian, Everett WA. 2. Again I was blown away by your discussion on why your family would not have been attuned to racism due to the idea of there not being a contradiction to the reality they began life with. Such a tender defense of these people, and I can apply that to my family too.Very unique and powerful. Abe Pena, university student. 3. This author’s provocative, endearing life story is a special must read for all members of the American School System, regardless of their niche or expertise in the field of education. Leo Valenzuela, Shoreline School District, Shoreline, Washington. 4. Your honesty was brutal but told in a loving way. I, we are so proud of your book and talk about it all the time. Rebecca Ann Avila, author’s niece. BLUE INK REVIEWS “Gil… writes a highly engaging story of [his ancestor’s] emigration by interlacing his elders’ testimonials with the rugged geography and historic details from Mexico to California, where they settled…. [We Became Mexican American] is not an academic study, but neither is it a dull family chronicle. Gil writes with a cinematic eye for detail, delivering intricate word pictures of the people, places and activities…. Vivid, highly informative and entertaining, Gil’s book shines and should be a staple on the bookshelves of history teachers and their students.” Blue Ink Review (October 2012) KIRKUS REVIEWS “Gil plays the role of storyteller and mass organizer in this textbook-thick account of how his family crossed both land and social boundaries to improve their living conditions and be together…. “Gil narrates through the first part of this book by connecting the personal stories of his mother and uncles with a broader account of the revolution in Mexico at the time. He continues to use a mix of family perspectives, historical contexts and personal analyses of San Fernando throughout the book to explain how his grandmother’s children eventually settled in, Calif. “[I]t’s an interesting, well-written account of an adaptable, immigrant family. [It p]rovides a unique perspective into the complex cultural struggles immigrant families face and the circumstances that bring them here. (November 2012) CLARLION FOREWARD REVIEWS “[It is a] rich, textured portrait…. “Gil’s scholarly expertise…allows him to present a clear picture of the political and economic changes happening in the United States, starting with the Great Depression…. “[H]e helps readers see the US through immigrants’ eyes. For instance, he describes their new world employing the Spanish words his grandparents used: vecindad for the Mexican housing projects and mezclilla for the ubiquitous blue jeans worn by workers… “Gil’s message is about the overall arc of progress made by his family, not the individual experience of any one member…. “[This work] shows how the hard work and determination of these Mexican immigrants led to greater economic success and higher social status with each generation. Black-and-white photographs inserted throughout the text vividly express this change of fortune.” (December 2012) . . 1. It was fantastic! I was so drawn in and fascinated with the stories of his family and all they went through. I’m so glad to have gotten that glimpse into his family’s journey and a better understanding of the lives of some immigrants. Mary McLaughlin Sta.Maria, Assistant Librarian, Everett WA. 2. Again I was blown away by your discussion on why your family would not have been attuned to racism due to the idea of there not being a contradiction to the reality they began life with. Such a tender defense of these people, and I can apply that to my family too.Very unique and powerful. Abe Pena, university student. 3. This author’s provocative, endearing life story is a special must read for all members of the American School System, regardless of their niche or expertise in the field of education. Leo Valenzuela, Shoreline School District, Shoreline, Washington. 4. Your honesty was brutal but told in a loving way. I, we are so proud of your book and talk about it all the time. Rebecca Ann Avila, author’s niece. BLUE INK REVIEWS “Gil… writes a highly engaging story of [his ancestor’s] emigration by interlacing his elders’ testimonials with the rugged geography and historic details from Mexico to California, where they settled…. [We Became Mexican American] is not an academic study, but neither is it a dull family chronicle. Gil writes with a cinematic eye for detail, delivering intricate word pictures of the people, places and activities…. Vivid, highly informative and entertaining, Gil’s book shines and should be a staple on the bookshelves of history teachers and their students.” Blue Ink Review (October 2012) KIRKUS REVIEWS “Gil plays the role of storyteller and mass organizer in this textbook-thick account of how his family crossed both land and social boundaries to improve their living conditions and be together…. “Gil narrates through the first part of this book by connecting the personal stories of his mother and uncles with a broader account of the revolution in Mexico at the time. He continues to use a mix of family perspectives, historical contexts and personal analyses of San Fernando throughout the book to explain how his grandmother’s children eventually settled in, Calif. “[I]t’s an interesting, well-written account of an adaptable, immigrant family. [It p]rovides a unique perspective into the complex cultural struggles immigrant families face and the circumstances that bring them here. (November 2012) CLARLION FOREWARD REVIEWS “[It is a] rich, textured portrait…. “Gil’s scholarly expertise…allows him to present a clear picture of the political and economic changes happening in the United States, starting with the Great Depression…. “[H]e helps readers see the US through immigrants’ eyes. For instance, he describes their new world employing the Spanish words his grandparents used: vecindad for the Mexican housing projects and mezclilla for the ubiquitous blue jeans worn by workers… “Gil’s message is about the overall arc of progress made by his family, not the individual experience of any one member…. “[This work] shows how the hard work and determination of these Mexican immigrants led to greater economic success and higher social status with each generation. Black-and-white photographs inserted throughout the text vividly express this change of fortune.” (December 2012) .

Category:

Description

Carlos B. Gil is a retired university professor who continues to study and write about Mexican politics, society, and culture, including immigration to the United States. He is an Emeritus Professor of the University of Washington’s History Department and Publisher of DiversityCentral.com, a comprehensive website addressing issues of diversity and inclusion in the American workforce. He earned his B.A. from Seattle University, his Master’s Degree from Georgetown University, and his Ph. D. from UCLA. Prior to his university career he served as a Cultural Attaché for the Department of State/United States Information Agency, and upon retiring from the University of Washington he directed and co-trained with the GilDeane Group Inc., a consulting and training firm in Seattle. The author was born in San Fernando, California, and now lives with his extended family in the Seattle area.