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The Squatter and the Don (Recovering the U.S. Hispanic Literary Heritage)

2.92  ·  Rating Details  ·  182 Ratings  ·  15 Reviews
The Squatter and the Don, originally published in San Francisco in 1885, is the first fictional narrative written and published in English from the perspective of the conquered Mexican population that, despite being granted the full rights of citizenship under the Treaty of Guadalupe-Hidalgo in 1848, was, by 1860, a subordinated and marginalized national minority.
Paperback, 381 pages
Published January 1st 1997 by Arte Publico Pr (first published January 1st 1992)
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Community Reviews

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Dusty
Sep 04, 2009 Dusty rated it liked it
Recommended to Dusty by: John Gonzalez
The first novel composed in English by a Mexican-American writer, The Squatter and the Don is to the Chicano/a literary movement a magisterial accomplishment, a must-read historical fiction about the blue-eyed Mexican aristocratic families who remained in the United States after — and were marginalized by the lackluster upholding of — the Guadalupe-Hidalgo Treaty that ended the war with Mexico.

The author, María Amparo Ruiz de Burton, sets her novel thirty or so years after the signing of the tre
...more
Megan
Oct 19, 2012 Megan rated it it was ok
Shelves: school, iah-207
I always feel too bad about giving books 1 stars but this one was pretty close to getting only that. While the history of the book was interesting the storyline was just awful for me. The romance parts made me want to gag, I couldn't stand the character of Mercedes. It was just overall very hard for me to read this book I had to force myself to finish it, and honestly, if I didn't have to read this for class I most likely would have abandoned it half-way through. The last hundred pages read like ...more
Gabriel Oak
A literary masterpiece The Squatter and the Don is not. It's not enough to observe that it follows the conventions of the sentimental novel, though it certainly does that. There's all the sighing and fainting and blushing one could possibly hope for hear. But Ruiz de Burton was not interested in creating a masterpiece even of the genre, so the result is quite a bad sentimental novel.

But that is not to say that the novel is without either literary historical interest. On the contrary, it is a fas
...more
Travis
Aug 28, 2015 Travis rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
part social justice tract, part sentimental melodrama. confoundingly racist against Indigenous peoples while claiming native status for californios. former Spanish land grant holders undone by us Anglo squatters and corrupt federal and state politicians colluding to bring railroad (and wealth) to San Francisco rather than San Diego. results in decline in wealth and health. luckily for those who live, the white knight steps in at last minute and restores wealth and well-being to all.

themes: melo
...more
Harrison
Apr 09, 2010 Harrison rated it did not like it
Recommends it for: No one
Absolute misery to read-- never read this poshlost! I wish there was a no star option!
Den Slader
The current scholarship on the writings of Maria Ampara Ruiz de Burton’s most recognized novel, The Squatter and the Don, is relatively thin. Available criticism often addresses the themes of nationalism and racism prevalent in Ruiz de Burton’s literary treatment of the political fallout that followed the 1848 American annexation of California from Mexico. While her novel is most notable for her stunning ability to portray the emotional and economic impact of dividing and resettling the Mexican ...more
r
Mar 07, 2010 r rated it it was ok
Recommends it for: the American Supreme Court c. 1872
Maria Amparo Ruiz De Burton mixes ridiculous melodrama with in-depth political discourse in the newly-American California c1850 - 1880. Laws were enacted making it possible for white Americans to settle on and make claim to what had been Mexican owned land. Serious shit.

RDB throws in a Mexican-American romance for obvious reasons but then fails to acknowledge any kind of Mexican heritage or history, instead doing everything she can to favorably align Californios with white American high society
...more
Jay Mehta
Love it when a book melds history and fiction. There are two intertwined stories here. One is about the the relationships between two families, and the other is about the railroads in California, particularly San Diego. The greed and corruption of the railroad barons are staggering. I certainly didn't know about the history of the Southern Pacific railroad (now Union Pacific).
Laura
Mar 02, 2014 Laura rated it liked it
The main story was very interesting but there were some rather slow bits in it that often made me lose focus. The legal language can get a bit overwhelming also.
Bethany
Nov 03, 2014 Bethany marked it as did-not-finish
Just no. Didn't even get to the end of the first page.
Kelli
Apr 23, 2008 Kelli rated it it was ok
This novel was assigned to me one year for an American Literature class. It was a bit difficult to get into, but it is a good story of how Americans stole land from Hispanics during the Gold-Rush era. The novel discusses the lives of an Hispanic family and an American family and how their lives differ, even though their lives are intertwined.
Alejandro
Sep 02, 2012 Alejandro rated it it was ok
An oddly prescient Victorian style novel about the tensions between "Spano-Americans" and Anglo settlers in the wake of the Guadalupe-Hidalgo Treaty of 1848.
Ron
Mar 20, 2012 Ron rated it really liked it
Shelves: early-westerns
Read my review at my blog.
Leslie
Mar 14, 2012 Leslie rated it it was ok
Shelves: goose
This book started off okay, but as it went on I just wanted it to end! An interesting time period though.
Olivia Berlin
Nov 07, 2012 Olivia Berlin rated it liked it
this one was ok...
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“Let us cry for the spilt milk, by all means, if by doing so we learn how to avoid spilling any more. Let us cry for the spilt milk, and remember how, and where, and why, we spilt it. Much wisdom is learnt through tears, but none by forgetting our lessons.” 48 likes
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