About the Book
Since it was first published in 1971, Galarza's classic work has been assigned in high school and undergraduate classrooms across the country, profoundly affecting thousands of students who read this true story of acculturation into American life.
To celebrate the 40th anniversary of the publication of Barrio Boy, the University of Notre Dame Press is proud to reissue this best-selling book with a new text design and cover, as well an introduction--by Ilan Stavans, the distinguished cultural critic and editor of the Norton Anthology of Latino Literature--which places Ernesto Galarza and Barrio Boy in historical context.
About the Author
Ernesto Galarza (1905-1984) was a labor organizer, historian, professor, and community activist. When he was eight, he migrated from Jalcocotan, Nayarit, Mexico, to Sacramento, California, where he worked as a farm laborer. He received a Ph.D. in history from Columbia University. In addition to Barrio Boy, he is the author of a number of books, including Strangers in Our Fields (1956), Merchants of Labor (1964), and Spiders in the House and Workers in the Fields (1970). In 1979, Dr. Galarza was nominated for the Nobel Prize in Literature.
"Unlike people who are born in hospitals, in an ambulance, or in a taxicab I showed up in an adobe cottage with a thatched roof that stood at one end of the only street of Jalcocotan, which everybody called Jalco for short. Like many other small villages in the wild, majestic mountains of the Sierra Madre de Nayarit, my pueblo was a hideaway. Even though you lived there, arriving in Jalco was always a surprise." --from Chapter 1
Reviews of the original edition:
". . . An illuminating record of the forebodings of ordinary rural Mexicans at the beginning of the revolution." -- The New York Review of Books
"With its suspense, humor, and occasional sadness, Barrio Boy is splendid reading." -- American Anthropologist
"Galarza's proud and moving book is a testament to who he is, where he came from, and to the country which received him and in which he has devoted his life fighting for both la justicia and justice." -- Social Education Journal
Barrio Boy is the remarkable story of one boy's journey from a Mexican village so small its main street didn't have a name, to the barrio of Sacramento, California, bustling and thriving in the early decades of the twentieth century. With vivid imagery and a rare gift for re-creating a child's sense of time and place, Ernesto Galarza gives an account of the early experiences of his extraordinary life--from revolution in Mexico to segregation in the United States--that will continue to delight readers for generations to come.