POLITICAL SCIENCE

Latinos in the American Political System: An Encyclopedia of Latinos as Voters, Candidates, and Office Holders

2 vols. ABC-CLIO. Mar. 2019. 770p. ed. by ed. by Jessica L. Lavariega Monforti. bibliog. index. ISBN 9781440853463. $198; ebk. ISBN 9781440853470. REF
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According to Monforti (dean, Coll. of Arts and Sciences, California Lutheran Univ.) and contributors from a variety of fields (political science, ethnic studies, anthropology, and more), Latinx Americans make up almost one-fifth of the country’s population but only one percent of its appointed and elected officials. However, as this encyclopedia so aptly demonstrates, their potential for increased political power, engagement, and mobilization is immense and sure to grow despite a history of low voter turnout and representation. The two-volume set consists of 240 alphabetically arranged short entries, 20 historically significant primary documents, and four excellent introductory essays that identify noteworthy Latinx Americans and their contributions, as well as relevant events and policies. Also featured are a guide to related topics, a chronology, an annotated appendix of active Latinx organizations, and an extended bibliography. Both the essays and short entries include resources for further reading, while all short entries are cross-referenced. Although several Latinx subgroups are profiled, the most coverage is devoted to Mexican Americans, the largest U.S. Latinx group.
VERDICT This authoritative, accessible work not only answers questions but also provides a variety of perspectives about future Latinx political trends. For general readers, high school students, and undergraduates.

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