Many recent American politicians have believed that they could speak Spanish. Presidential candidate George W. Bush stumbled through a Spanish-language interview and was rewarded with thirty-five per cent of the Latino vote in the 2000 election. His brother Jeb, whose wife is Mexican-born, is a fluent speaker, but when he appealed to Spanish-speakers during the 2016 Republican Party primary, he received a typically brutal slap-down from Donald Trump. ‘This is a country,’ Trump chided his rival ‘where we speak English, not Spanish.’
Timothy Verhoeven reviews 'An American Language: The history of Spanish in the United States' by Rosina Lozano
An American Language: The history of Spanish in the United States
by Rosina Lozano
University of California Press (Footprint), $53.99 pb, 376 pp, 9780520297074
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Timothy Verhoeven is senior lecturer in the history program at Monash University. He teaches and writes about US and French history in the nineteenth century, with a particular focus on Church–State relations. His most recent book is Sexual Crime, Religion and Masculinity in fin-de-siècle France: The Flamidien Affair (Palgrave, 2018).
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