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Lunch » Tags » Books » Reviews » His Panic: Why Americans Fear Hispanics In the U.S. » User review

Well Done Look at the Immigration Issue

  • Mar 30, 2009
  • by
I was given Geraldo Rivera's book, His Panic, as a gift. I have to admit when I picked up the book I expected to find a screed filled with hyperbole and rancorous comments about people who are concerned about the immigration issue. Instead I found a well thought out, passionate but not overly emotional argument about why Hispanic immigration is good for America not bad. It is an outstanding treatment of the issue.

Geraldo's main point in this book is that Hispanic immigration is a good thing not a bad thing. He points out that Hispanic immigrants integrate into American society much like other immigrants in the past have done, such as the Irish and other European immigrants in the last century. Successive generations become more educated, more successful, and more "American" in their outlook and attitudes. The key difference being that Hispanics have another language, Spanish, which is the main tongue of early immigrants, and that Hispanics are readily identifiable ethnically. While Geraldo never explicitly states it in this book, underlying racism certainly seems to play a role in Americans' fear of Hispanic immigrants coming to this country.

Throughout the book Geraldo deftly, using facts, undermines the myths of Hispanic immigration, such as that immigration increases the crime rate, that they steal jobs, that it's an avenue for importing terrorism, or that they import disease. He also talks about the fear mongers in the media hyping up isolated events, such as an illegal immigrant killing innocent Americans in a drunk driving accident, to paint all immigrants, illegal or not, as creating a crime wave, when in fact, Hispanic immigrants have a crime rate that is no different than other ethnic groups.

The book also highlights many immigrant success stories, while lamenting Hispanic gangs. And it provides harrowing, personal accounts of many illegal immigrants. It ends with Geraldo's own policy preferences for addressing Hispanic immigration.

This is a very well done treatise on the immigration issue. Even those who have a different point of view than Geraldo's would benefit from reading the book for a different perspective.

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March 30, 2009
I'll have to admit to some prejudice here myself. I also have some prejudice against New York Italians and for the very same reason--we lived next door to a family from the Bronx and they constantly had their voices cranked up to 11 as Nigel Tufnel would say. Very loud. Or maybe everybody just gets loud when they get to Florida. That's my only objection.
March 30, 2009
I'm sure there are a lot of counter arguements to what Geraldo says in his book. I am also glad I had not seen some of his typical Geraldo shrill comments on the issue before reading the book, or I would have been more biased than I was against hearing what he had to say. I find Geraldo to be more of a whining, shrill commentator who tends more toward ad hominen attacks than reasoned arguement. Maybe having to put something cogent down on paper tempered him a little bit -- and forced him to make an arguement that made sense.
March 30, 2009
Yeah, probably brought back the days when he had to write legal briefs rather than argue something in court or host that weird show of his.
More His Panic: Why Americans Fear ... reviews
review by . November 30, 2008
As the 2008 presidential election draws near what to do about illegal immigration has become one of the hottest issues on the campaign trail.  Conservative talk show hosts all over America have been fueling much of the hysteria surrounding this issue and as a result reasonable solutions to the problem appear to be more elusive than ever.  Earlier this year Fox News commentator Geraldo Rivera released "His Panic: Why Americans Fear Hispanics in the U.S".  Being of Puerto …
About this book


From Publishers Weekly
With lengthy anecdotes and limited analysis, journalist Rivera attempts to change the negative misconceptions about Hispanic migrants in this exploration of illegal immigration in the US today. Often reading like a rebuttal to the pundits and politicians he's come to blows with throughout his storied career-Lou Dobbs, Rep. Tom Tancredo, Michelle Malkin and others-Rivera's counterarguments frequently come in the form of Latino success stories such as Eddie Olmos and Cheech Marin (with whom, as he never misses an opportunity to mention, Rivera maintains close, personal relationships). More worthy sections deftly refute claims that illegal immigrants have hurt the economy, using strident statistical evidence and cagey reasoning. Rivera's wide net can lead to rambling; the immigration stance of Cesar Chavez and race relations in Miami are notable digressions. His most poignant (and fresh) argument comes in his closing statement, that the burgeoning Latino voting bloc, alienated by conservative immigration vitriol, could very well be the undoing of the GOP in 2008. Astute observations such as this save what could ultimately been written off as another Al Capone's Vault.
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.
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Books, Nonfiction, Politics, Immigration, Hispanic, Geraldo Rivera


ISBN-10: 0451224140 (hbk.)
ISBN-13: 9780451224149 (hbk.)
Author: Geraldo Rivera
Genre: Non-fiction
Publisher: Celebra Trade
Date Published: February 26, 2008
Format: Hardcover
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