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Manuel Ramos’ “King of the Chicanos”

April 2, 2010

“Both heroic and tragic, King of the Chicanos, captures the spirit, energy, and imagination of the 1960s’ Chicano movement — a massive and intense struggle across a broad spectrum of political and cultural issues — through the passionate story of the “King of the Chicanos,” Ramón Hidalgo. From his very humble beginnings through the tumultuous decades of being a migrant farm worker, door-to-door salesman,prison inmate, political hack, and radical activist, the novel relates Hidalgo’s personal failures and self-destructive personality amid the political turmoil of the times. With a gradual acceptance of his destiny as a leader and hero of the people, this impassioned novel relates the maturation of one man while encapsulating the fever of the Chicano movement.”

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Fine, hard-hitting, and on target, Ramos’s prose sings and zings with no quarter for anyone. Tough and uncompromising, the novel presents Ramón Hidalgo, warts and all, along with a cast of memorable characters. The engaged reader will profit from the reading. — Rolando Hinojosa

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