Great Lives from History: Latinos Review

“Great Lives from History Latinos, another set in the superb series Great Lives from History, fully covers 514 Latino people in 3 volumes with 1,000- to 2,000-word narratives. All three volumes have a contents page, a useful key to pronunciation, and a complete list of contents. Volume 3 lists the Latino individuals additionally with appendixes: organizations and societies, literary bibliography, mediagraphy, chronological list of entries by year of birth, research centers and libraries, bibliography, and Website directory. Volume 3 also offers three handy indexes including category index showing people by their fame, geographic index sharing which Latin American countries the Latinos are from, and a subject index. Each narration shares further reading in the form of an annotated bibliography. The narratives tell readers the Latino's history, what they are most known for, special names, and where they came into the world, lived, are living now, or died. More than 400 pictures accompany the three volumes and serve to capture the reader's attention while learning about the legendary Latinos. The back cover of the magnificent publication provides a code used to search the online availability of Great Lives from History Latinos without a fee. Some well-known Latinos portrayed are Jennifer Lopaz, Rita Moreno, Desi Arnaz, Carmen Miranda, Mariah Carey, Ricardo Montalban, Anthony Quinn, Ricky Martin, and Rita Hayworth. All academic and public libraries should add this reference work to their collection for patrons wanting well-researched data on extraordinary Latinos.”

“Tafolla, an award-winning author of Chicana literature for children and adults (Univ. of Texas at San Antonio Coll. of Education and Human Development) and librarian and activist Cotera (Diosa y Hembra: The History and Heritage of Chicanas in the U.S.; The Chicana Feminist) provide brief biographical essays covering 518 figures from Latino history. Those featured are “of at least partial Hispanic ancestry who were or are American citizens or who have resided or worked in the United States long enough to become identified with the Spanish-speaking Latino community.” They represent a wide range of occupations, from entertainment (Desi Arnaz, Rita Hayworth) to athletics (Teddy Bruschi, Tony Romo). Each of the well-written essays is divided into the sections “Early Life,” “Life’s Work,” and “Significance” before closing with further-reading suggestions and cross-references to other figures in similar fields. Included in the purchase is access to the online version of the full content of the printed work.

VERDICT A useful tool for those beginning their research on prominent figures in Latino history, this will be a solid addition to secondary libraries that need to update their collective biographies as well as their history collection.”
-Library Journal