Monday, July 10, 2006

Tony Horwitz has a thoughtful essay in the New York Times today, arguing that Americans who complain about Mexican immigration conveniently forget the major role that Spain played in colonizing the New World, and the subsequent Spanish influence over early American culture.

I mention this because Horwitz is the author of a fantastic book, "Confederates in the Attic", in which he romps through Americans' continued obsession with the Civil War. He camps out with hard-core reenactors who emaciate themselves to mimic the hunger experienced by Civil War soldiers; he discovers that Japanese tourists flock to the South because they love "Gone with the Wind"; and he explores the cultural and racial divides that linger 140 years after the war's end. I highly recommend it.

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