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Orange County: A Personal History
Contributor(s): Arellano, Gustavo (Author)

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ISBN: 1416540059     ISBN-13: 9781416540052
Publisher: Scribner Book Company
OUR PRICE: $16.14  

Binding Type: Paperback - See All Available Formats & Editions
Published: October 2010

Annotation: The story began in 1918, when Gustavo Arellano's great-grandfather and grandfather arrived in the United States, only to be met with flying potatoes. They ran, and hid, and then went to work in Orange County's citrus groves, where, eventually, thousands of fellow Mexican villagers joined them. Gustavo was born sixty years later, the son of a tomato canner who dropped out of school in the ninth grade and an illegal immigrant who snuck into this country in the trunk of a Chevy. Meanwhile, Orange County changed radically, from a bucolic paradise of orange groves to the land where good Republicans go to die, American Christianity blossoms, and way too many bad television shows are green-lit.

Part personal narrative, part cultural history, Orange County is the outrageous and true story of the man behind the wildly popular and controversial column ¡Ask a Mexican! and the locale that spawned him. It is a tale of growing up in an immigrant enclave in a crime-ridden neighborhood, but also in a promised land, a place that has nourished America's soul and Gustavo's family, both in this country and back in Mexico, for a century.

Nationally bestselling author, syndicated columnist, and the spiciest voice of the Mexican-American community, Gustavo Arellano delivers the hilarious and poignant follow-up to ¡Ask a Mexican!, his critically acclaimed debut. Orange County not only weaves Gustavo's family story with the history of Orange County and the modern Mexican-immigrant experience but also offers sharp, caliente insights into a wide range of political, cultural, and social issues.

Additional Information
BISAC Categories:
- Biography & Autobiography | Personal Memoirs
- Social Science | Ethnic Studies - Hispanic American Studies
- History | Latin America - General
Dewey: B
Physical Information: 0.65" H x 5.5" W x 8.5" (0.81 lbs) 288 pages
Descriptions, Reviews, Etc.

Contributor Bio(s): Arellano, Gustavo: - Gustavo Arellano's Ask a Mexican! column has a circulation of more than two million in thirty-eight markets (and counting). He has received the President's Award from the Los Angeles Press Club, an Impact Award from the National Hispanic Media Coalition, and a 2008 Latino Spirit Award from the California State legislature. Arellano has appeared on the Today show, Nightline, NPR's Talk of the Nation, and The Colbert Report. For more information, visit AskAMexican.net.

Reviewed by Publishers Weekly Reviews (PW Reviews 2008 July #2)

Readers get two stories for the price of one in this witty and informative memoir. Journalist Arellano (Ask a Mexican! ) chronicles the sweet-and-sour story of his family's assimilation into American culture, while also recounting a historical narrative at odds with the bucolic ideal of a place that's been mythologized for decades. "We're so American, so Orange County, that we're even prone to romanticize a past that never existed." Arellano's structure keeps the narrative moving along at a snappy pace, alternating the threads of the story so "odd chapters constitute the memoir, even chapters tell the history, and one complements the other." Readers get solid background on the beginning of master-planned communities during the 1920s, the little remembered Citrus War, Orange County's embarrassing 1994 bankruptcy and special mix of conservatism coupled with a dollop of big-time religion. "A 2005 Harper's article named Orange County the country's second hotbed of evangelical Christianity after Colorado Springs," Arellano writes, and of the 100 megachurches in the U.S. with the largest congregations, four are in Orange County. Arellano explores a place he calls the "Petri dish for America's continuing democratic experiment" and delivers a prescient view of the new American landscape. (Sept.)

[Page 55]. Copyright 2008 Reed Business Information.
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