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Mexifornia: A State of Becoming
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Mexifornia: A State of Becoming

3.68 of 5 stars 3.68  ·  rating details  ·  297 ratings  ·  42 reviews
This book is part history, part political analysis and part memoir. It is an intensely personal book about what has changed in California over the last quarter century.
Paperback, 150 pages
Published September 15th 2004 by Encounter Books (first published July 1st 2003)
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This is a thoughtfully written book by a military historian and classics professor who takes a sane, careful look at how California and the entire western states and even the nation is changing as a result of almost-untrammeled illegal immigration. His concerns for the future are sobering indeed and on target. He writes of a burgeoning illegal population who assimilate in terms of wearing American clothes and even knowing about American cultural/entertainment icons but who have no real sense of ...more
A short, but very well-written essay, ostensibly about immigration from Mexico, but in fact about social change in California and the replacement of an assimilationist ethos by one of racial separatism. Hanson's actual target seems to be liberal biases in American education, and, as a professor of classics at Cal State Fresno, is particularly critical of Chicano studies and similar programs.
"[The] subjugation of race to culture is forever a fragile state, not a natural condition. Each day it e
Fantastic book. Victor Davis Hanson shares in Mexifornia his personal, sometimes harrowing account of dealing with Hispanic illegal immigration principally from Mexico on his farm in Selma, CA - a small town in central California. He shares with the reader what he has experienced and because he is a noted military historian and a Professor at Fresno St., he is able to qualify his view and thoughts with impeccable research. This book is quite controversial, but a necessary wake up call.
There are
John Gurney
I support immigration, but read "Mexifornia", with an open mind, anticipating disagreement with author Victor Davis Hansen. I lack space to fully refute his book, but will tackle broad points. First, I do not attack him personally; one shortcut around argumentation is to blandish terms like 'racist', and I don't think Hansen is one. He is a Cal State Civics professor who also farms in California's predominantly Mexican-American Central Valley, who, as described in the book, had close relationshi ...more
Hanson argues that present-day California is a result of a two-way deal between the U.S. and Mexico. Mexico sends its poor to the U.S. while the U.S. profits from cheap labor. Politically, this is made possible by many Republican’s lust for cheap labor, and many Democrat’s thirst for an increased electoral base. The result is a constant wave of Latino immigrants that produces an unassimilated hybrid culture in the United States.

The book is largely anecdotal. I’d be interested in a book that pro
This was a really disappointing book. I was expecting a historical narrative and analysis of the migration of Mexicans to California, especially since Hanson is a somewhat renown historian of ancient Rome and Greece. Instead this book is mainly Hanson's own personal stories (which is the best part of the book and I will get to later) and statistics. I don't agree with many of Hanson's arguments but what surprised me most was that he defended his claims with cheesy political one-liners I could ha ...more
John Mccullough
Former Republican Representative Dick Armey said some time ago he thought Americans were a country of whiners. I discounted his assertion but in reading this book and its many supporters I must confess defeat. Dr. Hanson and his many avid readers seem to bemoan the fact that California, historically called Alta California, is being invaded by, of all people, Mexicans. The horror of it. His sweet, innocent, moral Anglophones are having to live next door to invaders from Latin America who ditch th ...more
This is a book that details the issue of immigration through the eyes of a white man who was born in this country. It details the perspective of a white man living among many Hispanics, but I do not see him feeling what they feel in their hearts. In reading this book, I felt as if I was listening into an argument across the table between the author and some of his liberal colleagues at the university.
Victor Davis Hanson has been described as a neoconservative by some commentators and was awarded
Jim Misko
MEXIFORNIA, A State of Becoming by Victor Davis Hanson, was recommended to me five years ago and I blew it off. Then the President’s move to handle illegal immigration by executive order (11/14) instead of having Congress pass laws—after mid-term elections when his party was trounced—I thought it was time to read it. Victor Davis Hanson is a bright man and his presentation of the immigration situation and how it has impacted California is clear and concise. It ought to be read by every person ho ...more
Enlightening. The author understands both sides of the issue and is very adept at presenting his analysis in a truly readable manner. Great book.
Victor Davis Hanson offers a short, semi-autobiographical assessment of the state of immigration issues/challenges in his home state, California. Hanson is a fourth-generation farmer, writer (, classicist formerly on the faculty of Fresno State, and current fellow at Stanford's Hoover Institute, who brings all of those skills to bear upon the vexing conundrum of immigration, particularly looking at how Mexican immigrants are uniquely shaping California's cultur ...more
I want to begin by saying that both my parents were immigrants and that I have had a long career in immigration law.

That said, let me turn to Mr. Hanson's book. One reader on this website said that it reminds him/her of an editorial and that he/she had hoped for more of a "study". As to the first point, it has very much an editorial voice. It is nonetheless based on personal experience in one of the areas of the USA with the the greatest density of undocumented aliens. It is also heartfelt and h
I finally finished this book and was very impressed. It's not one you sit down for a rip-roaring bout of entertainment, but it was both thought-provoking and thoughtful. Hanson looks at the immigration problem from both sides and acknowledges how truly complex the situation is.

I was particularly impressed about his arguments that one huge failing in our society now is the lack of civic education and our emphasis on education for skills. Hanson states, "If students are taught that the main purp
John Wiswell
Jun 24, 2007 John Wiswell rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Political readers, cultural readers, people concerned about illegal immigration
The best book on illegal immigration I've seen so far. Hanson has a lot of powerful anecdotes, and a lot of conflicting interests. Living an area of the U.S. that is saturated with illegal immigrants, he's seen both the positive and the negative. When no one else will help him with his crops, he relied on some of them. Others stole his mail for credit information and used his field as a trash dump. Legal immigrant students struggled to pay tuition while illegal immigrant students breezed by on s ...more
it's said the hardest phobia for a northeasterner to understand is hispanophobia. for the person born in boston, who grew up in ny, whose lived in delaware his whole life, mexico is:

for the Californian or Texan, Mexican immigration is something that requires

I like my chimichangas. I'm sorry that Californians and Texans have to deal with water bottles left on their 300 acres as illegals cross their ranch. and Professor Hanson, I think, is wearing . he knows he's tottering on the edge. it's just t
The American Conservative
'Victor Davis Hanson’s Mexifornia is the third best-seller on this immigration disaster in three years. (Hey! Maybe commercial publishers will—nah, fuhgeddaboutit.) In 2002, Michelle Malkin’s Invasion demonstrated that the U.S. admissions process was fundamentally flawed, regardless of what entry criteria were to be applied. In 2001, Patrick J. Buchanan’s Death of the West put U.S. immigration policy’s skew toward the Third World in the grand perspective of First World demographic and cultural d ...more
Hanson states from the start that this is a personal account, not an in depth analysis featuring statistics and charts, etc. Its main themes are drawn from his life as a small California farmer and university educator. I enjoyed the personal view based on real world experience. He was able to relate his thoughts in a non-biased way, as much as anyone who has experienced what he has can.

He tells the tale of how his town grew from the 60's into what it has now become in a way that probably foresh
This was a very interesting book. It was a bit short and I wish that some of the arguments would have gone a bit deeper into the idea, but for the length it was very informative. I agree with the points he made and can say that he brought up many ideas that were a new thought for me and that made me stop and think. I would recommend this book to anyone who is interested in looking deeper into what the population in California is, is becoming and why is it becoming what it is. I also appreciated ...more
Jun 10, 2010 Sarah added it
Shelves: politics
I had to return this book to the library when we moved out of town, and I didn't have time to finish the last 1 1/2 chapters. VDH is a farmer/classics scholar/political commentator born, raised, and still living and farming in California's Central Valley. He has very definite opinions (and a lifetime of firsthand observations) about how elements on both sides of the illegal immigration debate have contributed to the present mess. Unfortunately, I had to stop reading just as I was getting to what ...more
Should be required reading for Americans, and part of the mandatory curriculum in California. Mr. Hanson, already a respected military historian, brings a unique viewpoint and surprisingly objective perspective of California's issues as a (if memory serves) fifth generation Californian farmer. Everyone should read it. Mexican immigration, whether legal or illegal, will cause many adjustments - the lack of successful integration into American culture is a problem. Can we survive as a country with ...more
Chris Csergei
I was pleasantly surprised by the quality of this book. Hanson provides a reasonable and fair evaluation of the state of immigration in California. He bring a wonderfully diverse perspective to this topic, being both a college professor and a farmer. He doesn't resort to divisive rhetoric or hide behind politic language. His arguments and concerns both challenged me and influenced my opinions on this topic. I could not recommend this book more.
Clara Roberts
This was a book I could hardly put down. It bsically described California rapidly becoming a third world country. Hanson sums it up by "we have exchanged standards and taste forraw inclusiveness...." "Mexifornia is about the nature of a new Clifornia and what it means for America- a reflection uponthe strangesocietythat is emergingas a result of a demographic and cultural revolutionlike no other in our time
I enjoyed the book however I found it very anecdotal and lacking any data to support his claims.

I grew up and reside in the region of the author. I completely relate to several of his stories and understand a lot of his observations. I also found his opinions of Mexico and their government quite interesting.

I recommend the read but just know what you're getting in to before you begin.
I suppose I had never given much thought to Mexican immigration before, even though I'm surrounded (literally, my whole apartment building) but legal and illegal Mexican immigrants. This book really opened my eyes and made me reevaluate where I stand on the issues of immigration, assimilation, border control, and government policy. Once again I learned that I don't really know very much.
Betty McMahon
Author knows what he's talking about as he's been immersed in the Mexico-California in the San Joaquin Valley all his life. This was written in the early 90s, but the problems are still current -- in fact, some of the warnings he made in this book have now come true 10+ years later. This is a good book to read as part of an education to understand the immigration problem.
Heather Downs
A poorly researched and singular view of the dymanics and consequences of undocumented immigration. Hanson wants to generalize his experience with immigration to the entire state of California. If you want to learn more about immigration, read Bean and Stevens, "America's Newcomers and the Dynamics of Diversity". Do not waste your time with this book!
Martin Streetman
Mar 26, 2009 Martin Streetman rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommended to Martin by: amzn
Shelves: read-2009
Here is another book that has had a bookmark in it for more than a year. The book is written by a by a proffesor from UC Fresno and is at the same time anti immigration and hopefull that the intergration that has happened in the past can continue into the future. It was intresting and I would like to read some of his other books.
Pretty much anything by Victor Davis Hanson is worth reading. Anticipating the recent debate about illegal immigration by a few years, this piece seems harsh at first, but read deeply and think about the points made.
Gordon Hill
Victor Davis Hanson brings a fascinating perspective to a discussion of illegal emigration. Dr. Hanson knows what he is talking about from experience, and he makes it clear the issue if very complex.
It was almost surreal to read a book written by someone who grew up right around here and has such a good grasp on how things were, how they are, where they are headed, and why. Very interesting read.
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Hanson was educated at the University of California, Santa Cruz (BA, Classics, 1975), the American School of Classical Studies (1978-79) and received his Ph.D. in Classics from Stanford University in 1980. He lives and works with his family on their forty-acre tree and vine farm near Selma, California, where he was born in 1953.
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