CRB: The invention of Hispanics

We have been celebrating the twentieth year of publication of the second coming of the Claremont Review of Books with its new (Fall) issue. The magazine has moved to a new site with a new URL ( The editors have made the new issue freely accessible for the next few days. They hope to entice readers to become subscribers (subscribe here). I am, as usual, previewing a few reviews and essays from the new issue on the understanding that they will remain accessible after the issue is placed behind a paywall next week or soon thereafter.

Yesterday we took a brief look at Chris Flannery’s review of David McCullough’s The Pioneers: The Heroic Story of the Settlers Who Brought the American Ideal West. I love McCullough’s work and appreciate how Chris’s review does justice to McCullough’s virtues. Chris’s review also provides a glimpse of the story behind the Northwest Ordinance that McCullough takes up in the book. Chris’s review is “Land of the free.” If you missed it yesterday, you may want to take a look this morning.

Today we fall down the rabbit hole of counting by race and the aggravation of racial grievance in America. What is a Hispanic and from where did the concept come? The Heritage Foundation’s Mike Gonzales explores “The invention of Hispanics” (and what it says about the politics of race) in an enlightening review/essay. Gonzales concludes:

Those of us who believe that individual responsibility is a far better route to success than racialization can still reverse what Ylvisaker, Samora, Alinsky, and the rest have wrought. Our first enemy is ignorance. The radicals who victimized America have done their best to cover their tracks: general unawareness of how, and why, the U.S. today is mired in identity politics makes the victimhood narrative harder to defeat. That is the reason the myths still exist, and why we must dismantle them.

Gonzales’s essay sheds light on dark corners of the left’s all-consuming obsession with race and victimhood.

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