Books

A Most Imperfect Union: A Contrarian History of the United States

A Most Imperfect Union A Contrarian History of the United States A New York Times Best SellerEnough with the dead white men Forget what you learned in school Ever since Columbus who was probably a converted Jew discovered the New World the powerful and privileged

  • Title: A Most Imperfect Union: A Contrarian History of the United States
  • Author: Ilan Stavans Lalo Alcaraz
  • ISBN: 9780465036691
  • Page: 329
  • Format: Hardcover
  • A New York Times Best SellerEnough with the dead white men Forget what you learned in school Ever since Columbus who was probably a converted Jew discovered the New World, the powerful and privileged have usurped American history The true story of the United States lies not with the founding fathers or robber barons, but with the country s most overlooked and marginalA New York Times Best SellerEnough with the dead white men Forget what you learned in school Ever since Columbus who was probably a converted Jew discovered the New World, the powerful and privileged have usurped American history The true story of the United States lies not with the founding fathers or robber barons, but with the country s most overlooked and marginalized peoples the workers, immigrants, housewives, and slaves who built America from the ground up and made this country what it is today.In A Most Imperfect Union, cultural critic Ilan Stavans and award winning cartoonist Lalo Alcaraz present a vibrant alternative history of America, giving full voice to the country s unsung but exceptional people From African royals to accused witches, from Puerto Rican radicals to Arab immigrants, Stavans and Alcaraz use sardonic humor and irreverent illustrations to introduce some of the most fascinating characters in American history and to recount travesties and triumphs that mainstream accounts all too often ignore What emerges is a colorful group portrait of these United States, one that champions America s progress while also acknowledging its missteps.Sweeping and cinematic, stretching from the nation s prehistory to the post 9 11 era, A Most Imperfect Union is a joyous, outrageous celebration of the complex, sometimes unruly individuals and forces that have shaped our ever changing land.

    • [PDF] Download » A Most Imperfect Union: A Contrarian History of the United States | by ↠ Ilan Stavans Lalo Alcaraz
      329 Ilan Stavans Lalo Alcaraz
    • thumbnail Title: [PDF] Download » A Most Imperfect Union: A Contrarian History of the United States | by ↠ Ilan Stavans Lalo Alcaraz
      Posted by:Ilan Stavans Lalo Alcaraz
      Published :2019-04-03T15:14:41+00:00

    About "Ilan Stavans Lalo Alcaraz"

    1. Ilan Stavans Lalo Alcaraz

      Ilan Stavans is the Lewis Sebring Professor in Latin American and Latino Culture at Amherst College An award winning writer and public television host, his books include Growing Up Latino and Spanglish A native of Mexico City, he lives in Amherst, Massachusetts.

    677 Comments

    1. I wanted this to be a lot more contrarian than it actually ended up being. In the Acknowledgements at the end of the book, the author includes a list of movies and shows which cover particular moments in history, in chronological order. Movie versions of history often end up feeling (to me) more accessible than history books. And that's kind of how this felt. A little transgressive, personal, but there wasn't a lot I hadn't heard before, in my various studies of history.I also didn't find it par [...]


    2. Ugh. Couldn't finish it. It's not bad enough that the editor couldn't spell, but this book is as contrarian as a blue box o' mac & cheese. You want contrarian? How about Reagan denying the HIV/AIDS epidemic until 1987, after the disease had taken 1000s of lives. Or how about some Southern states denying African-American women the right to vote until the 1960s? But, yeah, Barbie being named after the daughter of Mattel's cofounder is WAY more important and deserves highlighting. Don't waste y [...]


    3. True to his word, the author contradicts himself in several places while pontificating, but that is part of what made this a good read. Depending on your experiences and what aspect of history you are examining, your perception changes. I also lived how the art was a juxtaposition of amazing ink drawings and rough sketches.


    4. The author states outright that he's aiming for book in the tradition of Ruis's Marx for Beginners. And he and the artist, Lalo Alcaraz, largely accomplish that. However, I didn't see as much contrariness in this book as I expected to see. Another question I have: who is the intended audience for this book?


    5. I couldn't finish reading this as closely as I wanted to originally. There are SO many interruptions from the author, with stuff that just doesn't matter. I had high hopes for this, but I ended up not liking it much at all.


    6. Refreshing! Although many of its facts are no surprise to the serious student of American history, the book's conclusions are quite valid.


    7. I get what the author wanted to do. I understand that government is corrupt, and that history is written by the winners. But, geez! Way to beat a dead horse.





    8. Although it has some excellent isolated pages, this book is too full of the intrusions of the author, Stavans, and so much non-important trivia to qualify as a contrarian. It is too incoherent and lacks cohesiveness. Most of it is conventional history, with a small amount of token people's history thrown in to make it superficially deep, but without the real needed deeper analysis or philosophical integrity that would provide one. There is a panel later in the book where Stavans says that the bo [...]


    9. This book promises to completely alter your understanding of history itself. It fails to deliver.I wasn't expecting new facts, but I was at least hoping for a new point of view. But it was the same 'revisionist, but not too revisionist' history that's been mainstream since the early 1990's. One token African American, woman, and non-Anglo for each period. Claim history is not about dead white Anglo men but still focus mostly on dead white Anglo men. But it's not real history unless it has trivia [...]


    10. I found this to be a real mixed bag. Maybe this was pitched for a younger audience, but a lot of the panels explaining basic cultural history-- particularly the ones for more recent history in the second half of the book--didn't bring anything new or unusual to the outline of American history-telling. The first half of the book had some unusual and interesting . The "contrarian" pitch of Stavans (the semi-stentorian PBS narrator of the thing) didn't really come together; that felt a bit oversold [...]


    11. This book was really a page turner, but the farther along it got, the less contrarian I felt the book got. The omission of the Haymarket Massacre of 1886 seems a pretty strong key to contrarian history, but there is not really anything questioning the role of police in society (alternet/news-amp-poli), although George Zimmerman's killing of Trayvon Martin is included. Most of the contrarian elements are about the early history of the United States. Once Stavans gets to the 20th Century, it seems [...]


    12. The comic I read was A Most Imperfect Union by Ilan Stavans. This comic was about how America was founded, but it doesn’t go into detail about the war or our founding fathers. Instead it focuses on the minor, more in depth details of the American workers, immigrants, housewives, and slaves, who made America what it is today. There’s a lot of really interesting panels in this graphic novel, but one that stands out to me is on page 217. It illustrates a single man with a sledge hammer taking d [...]


    13. Better than I was expecting. Very engaging, not very didactic I've read a few alternate histories in my day, and it's refreshing to read one that doesn't get too preachy and/or angry. The artwork is lovely, and Lalo Alcaraz' name was familiar to me but I couldn't quite place it. It was only upon reading the introduction that it hit me: he writes and draws La Cucaracha, a comic strip I loved back when I was buying the newspaper regularly. His style has loosened up a bit for this book, and it loo [...]


    14. Stavans states the intent of this book is to tell the history of America from a different perspective. Unfortunately, this reads like a pretty straightforward history text without much of a contrarian perspective. There is a lack of cohesiveness to the text and unnecessary pop culture references. There are a number of books cited that may actually provide a more nuanced and contrarian view on US history. Overall 1.5 out of 5


    15. This was an amusing book, but for some reason, by the last 30 odd pages, I was ready to be finished. Not particularly certain why. Perhaps it just got a bit too wordy at the end. I've got nothing against words, but it wasn't on par with the rest of the book. But I'm still willing to check out some of his other books, so clearly I wasn't too put off.


    16. It was not as contrarian as I had hoped/expected. Maybe because I recently read A People's History of the U.S. which presented far more examples of what I expected to find here. At best, I'd consider this book a good jumping-off point to find topics I'd like to explore further (and I have noted the references in the back of the book for possible future reading)


    17. For a political/social satire comic I chose A Most Imperfect Union by Ilan Stevens. It's a very silly and witty version of the history of the United States. They put neat little twists on Columbus and the Native Americans, the founding fathers, slaves, etc. The artwork is a simple black and white but the context of it makes up for it. I recommend it if you enjoy politically funny comics.


    18. This book has some extremely interesting stuff in it, and pretty much covers everything. That said, it is unreadable. Consisting of caffeinated (or maybe more) philosophical ramblings like the conversations in Jack Kerouac books, I'd recommend it for college students only, who are still in that crazed "intellectual" head space.


    19. meh!Interesting, but difficult to follow. It highlights a great deal of the inconsistencies and contradictions in US history, but does so with so little detail it felt rushed and incomplete.


    20. Mediocre. Howard Zinn's 'A People's History Of American Empire' (2008) provides a much better "outsider" view of American history by placing the events in context, which is something Stavans' book fails to successfully accomplish.


    21. Finished this book on the 4th of July. Gives a different insight to American history, besides the author is Mexican born. So there is sabor de Latinoamerica.


    22. Although text-rich for a graphic novel, I found it an insightful overview of history with some important facts highlighted like Henrietta Lacks on page 188.


    23. Full Disclosure: I didn't finish this one. I love what it wants to be but the snarky sidebar commentary is distracting and hinders the point.






    Leave a Comment